Once again, the company claiming to own basically the patent for affiliate marketing, Essociate has gone after another batch of affiliate and cpa networks, including Peerfly, COPEAC, CPAWAY and Neverblue. Currently cases against several other major CPA Networks are ongoing, and many of them still not resolved. However, in their quest to get as much money as soon as possible, they have embarked on attempting, in my humble opion, to destroy the industry again, claiming that somehow they “invented” affiliate marketing. What utter bullshit.
However, the industry it seems has already made their own decision that this company is nothing but a patent troll, realizing that their supposed patent on affiliate marketing poses a problem for companies that cannot afford to defend themselves and would rather settle.
If you are interested about all the companies they have sued and are now suing, check out this link which shows that they are targeting all sorts of companies, including those that license software from other companies. Of course, still to this date, they have not taken on any of the actual owners of those products such as DirectTrack, knowing that they would probably lose. Additionally, DirectTrack is part of a public company and has the money to seriously fight back.
Come to the rescue is Brian Littleton of Shareasale.com who has filed a lawsuit against Essociate asking the courts to basically declare their “patent for affiliate marketing” complete and utter bullshit. Thank You to this guy for standing up and not waiting to be another “victim” of software patent trolls. If you know him, give him a pat on the back and thank him.
Again, in my opinion, essociate has one purpose: to destroy as many companies, rake as much cash right now before the laws change that make these type of claims bullshit. In fact, recent cases have shown that the Supreme Court is moving more and more towards the possibility of invalidating software patents altogether. I’m sure that Essociates is well aware of this issue, and more importantly that Shareasale could win their case, causing a serious problem in their drive for quick cash. Until then, more and more companies will have to face the serious specter of defending themselves against these claims.