After Groupon, LivingSocial faces patent infringement suit from Blue Calypso

The digital marketing firm, which sued Groupon recently, said it plans a series of lawsuits to protect its intellectual property

Digital marketing firm Blue Calypso has filed a lawsuit against local deals company LivingSocial for patent infringement, less than a month after suing its competitor Groupon in a court in Texas.

Blue Calypso said Monday the suit was one of a series it plans against companies that have infringed its patents.

In a complaint filed before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, Blue Calypso has alleged that LivingSocial, a company partly owned by Amazon.com, has infringed on U.S. Patent numbers 7,664,516 and 8,155,679 which relate to peer-to-peer advertising between mobile communication devices.

LivingSocial infringes the patents by operating a computer program which has the functionality to enroll consumers and advertisers and target deals based on the consumer's geographic location, Blue Calypso alleged in the complaint. Living Social also provides the functionality to encourage the consumer to refer the deal to other consumers, it added.

The technology involved is used in Blue Calypso's digital marketing platform that is at the core of its business, according to the company.

Blue Calypso also charged Groupon of infringing the two patents in a lawsuit before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

In both cases, it has asked the court for damages, and to enjoin the two companies from infringing its patents, among other things.

"The current landscape for social engagement is growing and with that brings interest and need for the platform we developed and operate," Bill Ogle, CEO of Blue Calypso said in a statement. "It is our plan to monitor for infringing companies and ensure that our assets are protected now and into the future."

Blue Calypso in Dallas, Texas, describes itself as a digital word-of-mouth marketing company, that helps brands harness the power of social referrals.

In the quarter ended June 30, LivingSocial had revenue of US$138 million and net loss of $93 million, in contrast to revenue of $59 million for a net loss of $198 million in the same quarter a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing by Amazon.com.

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
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