On October 1, IBM finally resolved its patent litigation case with Groupon (GRPN). Groupon paid IBM ~$57 million as a settlement and signed a long-term patent cross-license contract. In order to improve their relations, IBM also decides to offer a few Groupon products to its staff as a part of its corporate benefits program.
In July, IBM filed a $167 million patent dispute case against Groupon for violating four of its patents. IBM thought that Groupon used its e-commerce platform without IBM’s consent to build the online business.
Strong intellectual portfolio
IBM continues to drive its intellectual portfolio through huge investments. The tech giant completed 2017 with more than 45,000 patents under its portfolio. In the last five years, IBM maintained average R&D (research and development) expenses of ~$5.6 billion each year, which helps the company boost its patent portfolio. In the above graph, you can see IBM’s R&D growth in the last five years.
Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle (ORCL) incurred average R&D expenses of $11.8 billion and $5.7 billion, respectively, in the last five years. These large tech giants need to keep their patent licenses protected from an infringement.