Google Offers, Google’s new daily deal site, isn’t even out of beta testing yet and it already has a lawsuit swirling overhead. Walker Digital, the people behind Priceline.com, filed suit against Google for infringement of patent rights. Earlier this month, the private R&D firm also sued more than 100 other defendants on similar intellectual property infringement grounds.
Google introduced Offers after Groupon turned down an offer to be acquired by the search engine giant for $6 billion late last year. Since then, daily deal sites have proliferated, all working on roughly the same business model. Walker Digital doesn’t have its own hat in the daily deal ring, but it hasn’t stopped the company from trying to get in on the lucrative action.
Those familiar with Walker Digital’s founder, Jay Walker, are not surprised by the litany of suits filed by the company. Looking at the firm’s recent legal history portrays a spate of legal action targeted at the biggest names in the digital world: Apple, Facebook, Google, eBay, and many more. But some believe the suits to be an act of trolling, or registering generic patents, such as “settlement systems and methods wherein a buyer takes possession at a retailer of a product,” in hopes of cashing in on an infringement lawsuit down the line.