Wednesday, March 16, 2011

GeoTag Inc. proves incorrigible, sues Walmart and 25 other companies

I have an update on GeoTag, Inc., the patent holding entity that sued 397 companies last year for the alleged infringement of a location-tagging patent and was jointly sued by Google and Microsoft. Two new suits involving GeoTag were filed these days.

First, the good news: on Monday, March 16, 2011, Where 2 Get It Inc., which offers location-based marketing services, filed a declaratory judgment suit against GeoTag. Where 2 Get It's suit mirrors Google's and Microsoft's joint action and asks for the same remedies (invalidation of the patent and an enjoinder that would put an end to GeoTag's mass-suing of, in this case, Where 2 Get It's customers. Like Google and Microsoft, Where 2 Get It filed its complaint in Delaware. I wouldn't be surprised if this lawsuit was soon consolidated into the one brought by Microsoft and Google.

Now the bad news: a day later, on March 15, 2011, GeoTag demonstrated that it's continuing with its suing spree. It filed a suit in Eastern Texas (where it previously filed many other suits) against Where 2 Get It and 25 other companies, many or (presumably) all of which are customers of Where 2 Get It. The most prominent one of them is Walmart. They are all sued over the same patent GeoTag asserted previously against the 397 companies I listed here.

The number of companies sued by GeoTag since last year has now reached 423. And counting, it seems.

The companies that got sued this time are (in the order in which they appear in the complaint):

  • Where 2 Get It, Inc.

  • Carhartt, Inc.

  • CFA Properties, Inc.

  • Chick-fil-A, Inc.

  • Columbia Sportswear Company

  • Columbia Sportswear North America, Inc.

  • Columbia Sportswear USA Corp.

  • Jo-Ann Stores, Inc.

  •, LLC

  • La-Z-Boy, Inc.

  • Miele, Inc.

  • Monster Cable Products, Inc.

  • Patagonia, Inc.

  • ReachOutside, LLC

  • SEIKO Corporation of America [doing business as SEIKO USA]

  • SEIKO Instruments Inc.

  • SEIKO Watch Corp.

  • SpatialPoint LLC

  • TCF Co. LLC

  • The Cheesecake Factory Inc.

  • Victorinox Retail USA, Inc.

  • Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc.

  • Victorinox Stores, Inc.

  • Viewsonic Corp.

  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. [a few years ago, its brand was changed to "Walmart", but it seems the company name still has the old spelling]

  • Web Logic Media, Inc.

That's 26 more companies who will be very happy to see GeoTag's patent taken down in the best case. Or who may have to pay otherwise.

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