RealTime IT News

Incentive Marketers Lock Horns in Lawsuit

Coolsavings.com Inc. Monday sued competitor Emaginet Inc., charging the company with violating its patented method of targeted marketing.

In the lawsuit filed in a Chicago federal court, CoolSavings charged Bethesda, Md.-based Emaginet with offering consumer and advertiser services that infringe on a patent it was granted for its method of distributing coupons over the Internet. Both companies send discount offers to their users based on a profile created during the sign-up process.

"CoolSavings is proud to deliver innovative technologies and services to help companies expand their businesses through targeted campaigns, while answering consumer demand for privacy. To protect our position as an industry leader -- and the value of our research and development investment -- CoolSavings will continue to vigorously enforce our patent rights," said Steven M. Golden, CoolSavings' chairman and chief executive officer.

CoolSavings, launched in mid-1997, has 1.6 million registered members.

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