New NPE, Alloqate, Sues Ten E-Commerce Companies
Alloqate [NPE] filed suit against DealBase, Expedia, Hotwire, Kayak, Lending Tree, Orbitz, PriceGrabber, Progressive, Shopping.com and Travelocity, for alleged infringement of a patent directed to matching customers with discounted offers. Claim 1 of the patent recites, “A method of matching a customer and a supplier, said method comprising the acts of: receiving supplier information from at least one supplier, said supplier information including a supplier product/service, a supplier discount for said supplier product/service, and supplier contact information; receiving customer information from said customer, said customer information including a customer product/service; finding a matching supplier from said at least one supplier, said matching supplier offering a matching supplier discount for said customer product/service, said matching supplier discount being at least a minimum discount; and sending said supplier contact information corresponding to said matching supplier to said customer.” It is likely that the patent-in-suit will face statutory subject matter challenges based on the Bilski related machine or transformation test. This is the first suit filed by Alloqate, represented by Spangler Law Group. The patent-in-suit (originally issued to an individual inventor) was assigned to Alloqate in February 2011. The patent was originally filed in January 2000. 5/9, District of Delaware, 1:2011cv00403.