An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: A U.S. jury awarded International Business Machines Corp. $83.5 million after finding that Groupon Inc. infringed four of its e-commerce Patents. Friday's verdict cements the prowess of IBM's portfolio of more than 45,000 patents and is a boon to its intellectual-property licensing revenue, which brought in $1.19 billion in 2017. The jury in Wilmington, Delaware, sided with the argument of IBM's lawyers, who had said Groupon was trying to portray IBM as claiming to have patented the Internet and had called that effort "a smoke screen." As they began the trial, IBM's lawyers said Groupon built its online coupon business on the back of IBM's e-commerce inventions without permission. [T]he patents at issue don't protect IBM's products or services, said David Hadden, Groupon's lawyer. IBM never used the patents and instead relies on its huge portfolio to extract money from other companies, he said. Two of the patents, one of which expired in 2015, came out of the Prodigy online service, which started in the late 1980s and predated the web. Another, which expired in 2016, is related to preserving information in a continuing conversation between clients and servers. The fourth patent is related to authentication and expires in 2025, the latest among the case's patents. IBM stressed throughout the trial that a range of companies have paid for licenses to use its patents. Tech giants such as Amazon, Alphabet's Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have paid from $20 million to $50 million each in cross-licensing agreements, allowing them access to IBM's cadre of more than 45,000 patents.
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