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Crypto exchange Coinbase faces infringement lawsuit by patent troll

“Man holding magnifying glass over Coinbase logo” by Marco Verch, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license at https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/29421955997/in/photostream/.

Mon, 08 Jul 2019, 06:04 am UTC

American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has been hit with a lawsuit for allegedly infringing a registered patent.

The claimant, Anuwave, LLC, filed a complaint in Delaware’s Federal District Court on June 27, 2019. The Texas-based, intellectual property (IP) monetization firm is seeking financial compensation from Coinbase, based on an “accounting of all infringing sales,” according to Yahoo Finance.

Interestingly, the patent in question is related neither to cryptocurrency nor distributed ledger technology. Instead, Anuwave claimed that the “Coinbase Text Notification” service, which enables the exchange’s users to use an “SMS-enabled mobile device to perform certain actions using text commands” is violating its patented technology.

Anuwave was granted U.S. Patent no. 8,295,862 in 2012 for a “method and system to enable communication through SMS communication channel.” However, according to Unified Patents, the IP Edge affiliate is a well-known non-practicing entity (NPE), which reports suggest is a nicer way of saying “patent troll,” and an affiliate of IP Edge.

According to The Block, “companies often file patents to cover their technology for defensive purposes, but other times they attempt to ‘weaponize’ the patent system by filing patents for offensive purposes, i.e., suing people,” further noting that asserting patents and suing people are a “big business” in the Eastern District of Texas.

Since 2015, Anuwave has filed about 100 lawsuits against mobile banking providers and tech companies over alleged intellectual property infringements, including Avast, BitDefender, and Symantec.

Earlier this year, Argentina’s NEM Foundation partnered with CISPREN to develop a blockchain solution for copyright protection.

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