RealTime IT News

CoolSavings Claims Infringement of Its Targeted Promotion System

CoolSavings.com Inc. in Chicago filed a federal lawsuit against Emaginet Inc., claiming infringement of its patent for an "Interactive Marketing Network and Process Using Electronic Certificates."

The lawsuit charges that Maryland-based Emaginet has offered consumer and advertiser services that infringe on the CoolSavings patent for distributing printed and electronic coupons via the Internet.

The CoolSavings system "is the first to provide target marketing capabilities to advertisers and still protect the privacy of consumers," the company said. CoolSavings claims a database of 1.6 million registered shoppers.

Emaginet offers what it calls "e-centives" with merchants ranging from Tower Records to Crutchfield. "Through e-centives unique filtering system, digital coupons are automatically delivered, stored and ready for you to redeem online or print out and shop offline," the Web site stated.

"Our attorneys have looked at (the lawsuit) and we're confident we have not infringed on this patent," said Emaginet spokesman Dadi Akhavan. "We're clearly the technology leaders and understand this is a way for others to catch up."

"To protect our position as an industry leader--and the value of our research and development investments--CoolSavings will continue to vigorously enforce our patent rights," said Steven M. Golden, chairman and CEO of CoolSavings.com.

The CoolSavings system allows advertisers or coupon issuers to target printed or electronic coupons to a specific consumer profile. Although advertisers may use a range of household characteristics to target the offer, they do not know the names, addresses or e-mail addresses of the individuals they target.