The folks at Groupon must have had a good Thanksgiving. Last Wednesday a Florida federal judge ruled that Groupon, Inc.’s deal website does not infringe rival eWinWin Inc.’s three technology patents. U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew granted summary judgment of noninfringement to Groupon, holding that Groupon had not violated any of eWinWin’s patents.
EWinWin sued Groupon in December of 2010, accusing the popular coupon site of patent infringement. According to Judge Bucklew, eWinWin’s patents document a system that decreases the price for a good or service as more and more users sign up for the deal. Groupon, in contrast, uses its website to sell coupons to local businesses, but the coupons only become available if a predetermined number of buyers take the business up on the deal. Judge Bucklew found that all three of eWinWin’s patents require that the product price drops as more people take advantage of it. Because Groupon does not sell its coupons for more than one price, Judge Bucklew held that Groupon’s service did not violate the patents. Although Judge Bucklew dismissed Groupon’s counterclaims of invalidity as moot, Groupon’s counterclaims of infringement against eWinWin remain in the case. eWinWin might be regretting bringing this suit right about now.
eWinWin Inc. v. Groupon, Inc., Docket No. 8:10-cv-02678, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.