Airbnb Sued For Web Tech Patent Infringement

Plaintiff Internet Media Interactive Corp. filed a complaint against defendant Airbnb for patent infringement. The patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent No. 6,049,835 (“the ‘835 Patent”), entitled “System For Providing Easy Access To The World Wide Web Utilizing A Published List Of Preselected Internet Locations Together With Their Unique Multi-Digit Jump Codes.” Airbnb is accused of using this patented process to use a multi-digit jump code to access a specific internet location.

Internet Media Interactive claimed that Airbnb directly infringed on at least claim 11 of the ’835 patent, which is a “method…for providing automatic access to preselected locations on the Internet.” Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that Airbnb has “published a compilation of information with respect to preselected Internet locations (e.g., advertisements on Twitter or other online medium).” The defendant’s compiled content “included a unique predetermined multi-digit jump code assigned to each of said preselected Internet locations for which information is published therein.”

Additionally, Airbnb has “provided – through its publication of compilations of various information on Twitter – a predetermined Internet location having an address published in said published compilation.” The “predetermined Web site” has a unique web address in the compilation, which is used to “to provide access to other preselected Internet locations.” Specifically, this “predetermined Internet location – managed by a link shortening service provider…was characterized by means for capturing a desired multi-digit jump code assigned to said preselected Internet location such that a multi-digit jump code could be entered by a user after the predetermined Internet location was accessed.” This predetermined location was accessed by a user by clicking on an embedded URL code and the designated multi-digit-jump code was used to bring the user to the desired internet location. Plaintiff adds that defendant Airbnb is responsible for users who infringe by using this patented process to access the designated site; Airbnb has allegedly made using this patented process a condition to access the specified designated site. Airbnb allegedly uses a third-party link-shortening service to make using a multi-digit jump code entry into a URL possible. As a result, the plaintiff claims that this infringes the ’835 patent via the use of the multi-digit jump code to access a specified URL internet location. Plaintiff states that this process is specified in the patent and Airbnb’s use of this process constitutes infringement.

Internet Media Interactive has sought a declaratory judgment in its favor, an award for damages, and other relief as determined by the court. 

The suit is filed in the Northern District of California. Plaintiff is represented by the Law Offices of Marc Libarle, as well as Haller Law PLLC.