NEWS27 June 2012

Itracks and Artafact settle four-year long patent dispute

Legal North America

US— A four-year long patent dispute between online focus group providers Itracks and Artafact was settled out of court this month.

The exact terms of the settlement have not been disclosed but Itracks has agreed to licence its patent for a “system and method of conducting focus groups using remotely located participants over a computer network” to Artafact in exchange for payment.

Patent number 6,256,663 dates from 2001 and was originally obtained by online research agency Greenfield Online and later acquired by Itracks.

Itracks sued Artafact for patent infringement in 2008 while Artafact counter-sued, arguing that the patent was invalid.

A review by the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2009 upheld the validity of the Itracks patent and the two firms looked headed for a settlement soon after, but talks broke down in 2010.

Now two years’ on, the companies have announced in a joint statement that they have come to “mutually agreeable settlement terms” and that the court case has been dismissed.