IBM and Airbnb Announce Settlement in Patent Litigation

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by | December 28, 2020

Nine months after filing a patent infringement suit against Airbnb, IBM is dropping its allegations as part of a joint, confidential settlement.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and San Francisco-based Airbnb (Nasdaq: ABNB) filed a joint motion to dismiss the case Wednesday.

Neither company would detail the terms of the settlement.

“IBM invests more than $5 billion annually in research and development,” William Lafontaine, IBM’s general manager of intellectual property said in a prepared statement. This agreement further demonstrates the value of our intellectual property that results from this innovation. We’re pleased this matter has been resolved.”

“Through this settlement, IBM has recognized that this action was not fruitful for either company,” Airbnb spokesman Christopher Nulty added in a statement. “We’re glad to have resolved this dispute and we remained focused on our mission.”

IBM filed the initial suit in March, accusing Airbnb of using its technology without permission – specifically violating some of its online commerce-related patents. The firm, via the lawsuit, claimed to have tried to negotiate a cross license with Airbnb for years, similar to the agreements it’s reached with Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple (Nasdaq: APPL), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Facebook (Nasdaq: FB).

“Instead, to this day, Airbnb has chosen to willfully infringe IBM’s patents,” the lawsuit claimed.

Attorney Karim Oussayef referred TBJ to IBM for comment. Airbnb’s attorneys didn’t return a request to comment on the case.


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