June 28, 2022
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit from International Business Machines Corporation (“IBM”) that claimed Chewy, Inc. (“Chewy”), an online pet product retailer, infringed IBM's patents.
In his decision, Judge Jed Rakoff found that Chewy’s online services do not infringe IBM’s patents, while also finding that one of IBM’s patents was invalid because it covered an abstract idea.
Prior to this dismissal, Chewy pre-emptively sued IBM for over-charging regarding licensing fees “for early Internet patents that were not valuable.” Chewy’s accusation came after it rejected IBM’s patent license offer, which would have been accompanied by a price tag of $36-million.
This case is not the first time IBM has sought compensation relating to its patents in court. The tech company has previously brought claims against Groupon, Airbnb and Twitter for infringement, resulting in large pay-offs. It will be interesting to see if Chewy’s victory will sway other accused parties away from settlement.
Authors: Em Windrim and Sarah Stothart