|[April 12, 2011]
Walker Digital Files Lawsuits in Patent Dispute
STAMFORD, Conn. & WILMINGTON, Del. --(Business Wire)--
Walker Digital, LLC announced today that it has filed suit in Delaware
to stop the unauthorized use of its intellectual property rights and to
recover its substantial investment in innovation. In total, 15 suits
have been filed against more than 100 defendants, including Microsoft,
eBay, Amazon, Facebook, WalMart, Groupon, Apple, Sony and Google (News - Alert).
Walker Digital Chairman Jay S. Walker, founder of priceline.com, Synapse
and numerous other successful companies, is the lead inventor on a
majority of the company's patents and applications. Mr. Walker has been
recognized nationally and internationally as one of the world's leading
entrepreneurs and inventors of solutions to a wide variety of business
problems. Forbes magazine described him in a cover story as an "Edison
for a New Age" and compared Walker Digital's research and development
lab to Edison's original research labs. BusinessWeek selected Mr. Walker
as one of the 25 Internet pioneers most responsible for "changing the
competitive landscape of almost every industry in the world."
"A number of great companies can trace their genesis to technology that
was first developed at Walker Digital in the mid-to-late 1990s. We are
proud of our inventions and the number of innovative businesses and
activities founded on these inventions. These businesses have not only
changed the way people around the world live, work, travel and interact
socially and commercially, but also have given rise to numerous American
jobs," said Walker.
Walker Digital has started several operating companies, in addition to
supporting several others with licenses, to commercialize its inventions
in e-commerce, gaming, publishing, retailing, education and other
industries. These companies have collectively served more than 100
million consumers, generated billions in revenue and created thousands
of new jobs. The best-known company based on Walker Digital's inventions
is priceline.com, with a current market value of more than $22 billion.
Priceline, launched in 1998, is one of the biggest success stories of
all of the first-generation e-commerce companies.
Founded in 1994, Walker Digital has invested several hundred million
dollars to create what is now a broad portfolio of inventions and
operating companies. The company's inventions are covered by more than
400 issued and pending U.S. and foreign patents. Several hundred patent
applications are currently pending. All of Walker Digital's patents were
created internally by invention teams at the company focused o
generating new solutions to business problems. No patents have been
purchased from other companies or inventors. The company has generated
direct licensing revenues from its inventions well in excess of $200
"Filing these lawsuits is not a step we sought or preferred," said
Walker Digital's CEO Jon Ellenthal. "We have reached out to a wide range
of companies that are engaging in commercial activities that clearly
depend on inventions created and owned by Walker Digital. Unfortunately,
many of these companies have refused to engage in meaningful
negotiations that acknowledge the market value they derive from the use
of our property," Ellenthal continued.
According to Ellenthal, "Patent protection is a key part of our business
model. It provides us with a period of exclusive ownership during which
we can recoup our investment in innovation and generate the profits
necessary to continue our invention efforts. This model dates back to
our nation's founding when encouraging and protecting innovation was
incorporated into the U.S. Constitution. The founding fathers recognized
the value of a strong patent system as an important element in securing
America's economic advancement."
"Our portfolio is the work of more than 100 people and enormous private
financial investments over the past 17 years. As with any commercial
inventor, our overriding goal is to see our inventions profitably reach
the marketplace, either directly by founding start-ups or indirectly by
enabling third-parties through licenses that allow us to participate in
the economic value created from our property."
Commenting on recent developments, Ellenthal stated, "We are
disappointed that after reaching out to so many companies in an effort
to secure reasonable licenses, we were consistently told that without
litigation our requests would not be taken seriously. Few inventors can
bear the costs of patent lawsuits and most large companies know they can
take advantage of smaller inventors who cannot afford the millions of
dollars that just one patent lawsuit can cost. At Walker Digital, we
don't believe that less innovation or more litigation serves anyone's
long-term interests. However, the unwillingness of those companies using
our property to enter into joint commercial agreements has forced us to
take an action that we had hoped to avoid. Indeed, ironically and
unfortunately, our efforts to avoid litigation have been met, in some
cases, with lawsuits filed against us just because we sent letters
asking companies whether they would be willing to license some of our
IP Navigation Group is acting as Walker Digital's intellectual property
advisor. "At the end of the day, a patent is a government granted
property right that simply permits the owner to exclude others from
copying his invention. We contacted these companies and urged them to
come to the table. Some have been sitting down with us and we will
continue to work with them outside the courtroom. But dozens of
companies have responded with silence, indifference, delay or worse yet,
by taking legal action against Walker Digital. Perhaps now we can start
good faith negotiations. Walker Digital desires to license its
intellectual property and not to prolong the legal process," stated
Erich Spangenberg, CEO of IPNav. "This is a plain and simple case of
some companies taking advantage of the high costs and built-in delays of
the U.S. legal system with their refusal to negotiate. We are committed
to help protect Walker Digital's intellectual property through the only
Mr. Walker concluded: "Our goals are two-fold. Obviously we want to
realize a fair return on the use of our property. Who would want any
less? But we also hope this effort will contribute to the process of
moving the asset class of patents and Intellectual Property out of the
stone age of litigation and into an efficient market which, in the end,
would benefit America and its economy."
About Walker Digital:
Walker Digital, LLC is the owner of several hundred U.S. and foreign
patents and patent applications in diverse areas of technology.
Additional information regarding Walker Digital is available at www.walkerdigital.com.
About IP Navigation Group:
IPNav's expertise is patent monetization. Additional information
regarding IPNav is available at www.ipnav.com.
You can contact IPNav at firstname.lastname@example.org,
by telephone at (214) 438-0800 or through their website.
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