Spring, TX asked in Business Formation and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas

Q: RetailMeNot suing Honey for patent infringements.

Hi my question is regarding RetailMeNot suing Honey for patent infringements.

According to RetailMeNot’s suit, Honey infringes on U.S. Patents 9,626,688; 9,639,853; 9,953,335; and 9,965,769, which detail technologies related to things like facilitating access to promotional offers, merchant offers and coupon codes.

This is very generic model and in web business, their is always a client who is connecting to middle man who is getting something as part of the transaction in digital marketing or affiliate marketing.

Does this mean no one else can start a similar business, in this case another coupon site?

How is that possible is that like i start a online scheduling business where clients get their doctors or attorney's appointment on my site and i charge doctors or attorneys small fee for the scheduling. if i patent this model can i restrict others from doing same scheduling online business?

1 Lawyer Answer
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Moorestown, NJ

A: It is possible for someone to start up another coupon site. You just have to be outside of the scope of the claims. In this particular case, the four patents have very long independent claims, suggesting that one should be able to work around these claims.

If you are trying to start an online business then you need to get an atty to make sure that you do not infringe on these patents or any other ones.

You may or may not be able to patent it and keep others from doing the same. This will be particularly helpful if your business takes off, and you are planning to eventually sell your business and its IP to a large company.

But getting your own patents is a secondary concern. Your primary concern is to make sure that you are able to provide services to your clients.

Good luck!

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