Groupon, Yelp Sued for Patent Infringement in Electronic Couponing Wars

By Joseph Mandour on June 4, 2013

LA Patent InfringmentOrange County – The decision as to who the front runner is in the area of coupons delivered via electronic means may be decided in a U.S. District Court in eastern Texas.  With the registration of its newest patent, Blue Calypso Inc. believes it has the upper hand in the area of web-based couponing.  That’s why it recently filed another round of patent complaints naming Yelp, Groupon, Foursquare, MyLikes Inc. and Izea Inc.

The first group of lawsuits were filed in early May and alleged infringement of a separate patent, Reg. No. 8,438,055 which issued May 7, 2013, for “distribution of advertisements between communication devices” relating to photographic displays directed at subscribers from advertisers.

With the issuance of the new patent on May 28, 2013, Patent No. 8,452,646, for a “System and method for providing endorsed electronic offers between communication devices,” Blue Calypso believes it has even more leverage to go after its competitors.

Blue Calypso, formerly JJ&R Ventures, Inc., is headquartered in Carrollton, Texas.  It is in the business of collaborating with companies and advertisers to develop ad campaigns directed to consumers using “word-of-mouth, social media communities, mobile technologies and customer loyalty rewards.”  Its plan is to provide reward incentives to consumers by encouraging them to tell friends and family about a product or service through one of the various social media podiums.

Blue Calypso alleges that by using screen shots on smartphone apps, Yelp, for one, infringes one or more claims of the newest patent.  Blue Calypso, alleges in the complaint that it “will suffer further irreparable injury, for which it has no adequate remedy at law,” if Yelp and other defendants are not prevented from infringing on the new patent.

Each separate lawsuit charges each of the named companies with infringement of Blue Calypso’s patented technology through the operation of mobile services, and seeks an injunction as well as damages.

In addition to the recent litigation, Blue Calypso also has pending patent infringement lawsuits against Yelp and Izea from 2012, with a claim construction hearing coming up this November.  A statement released by Bill Ogle, Blue Calypso’s Chairman and CEO offered, “We are pleased that we have established additional scheduling dates for moving forward in the enforcement of our patents.”  Mr. Ogle added that he expects the hearing will lead to “full jury trials in 2014.”

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Posted in: Patent Infringement