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The lawsuit had been set to go to trial on June 24. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in detail in the court filing.

According to newly filed court documents, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) has settled its ecommerce patent dispute with Rakuten.

In 2021 IBM filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. It alleged that ecommerce technology on Rakuten’s shopping website and mobile apps for providing cash-back offers infringed its patents. IBM says it tried to negotiate a license with Rakuten for six years without success, according to Reuters.

In the complaint, IBM says that it partnered with others to launch Prodigy. Prodigy was one of the first ecommerce services before Rakuten was founded in 1997. According to the complaint, Rakuten “took those prior innovations made by IBM and others to create and run its new business.” It also used more of IBM’s innovations as it developed, according to LawStreetMedia.com.

U.S. District judge Gregory Williams said in an oral order that he was “pleased to hear that the parties have reached an agreement to settle this case,” says Reuters.

The lawsuit had been set to go to trial on June 24. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in detail in the court filing.


In North America, 18 online retailers in the Top 1000 use IBM for order management services. Those 18 retailers generated more than $90.56 billion in web sales in 2022. The Top 1000 is Digital Commerce 360’s database of the region’s largest online retailers, ranked by their annual web sales.

IBM, AI and sustainability

IBM recently released a study of 20,000 consumers across 26 countries showing that more than half would like to use:

  • Artificial intelligence (59%)
  • Augmented or virtual reality (55%)
  • Bots or virtual assistants (55%)

Meanwhile, just 9% of those consumers said they’re satisfied with their in-store shopping experiences. However, that figure is slightly higher at 14% for ecommerce experiences.

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