In the last 15 months E-DATA (formerly Interactive Gift Express Inc., OTC: GIFT) has filed lawsuits against 43 companies alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 4,528,643, the so-called Freeny patent, and has sent notices of infringement to a further 139 companies. It sent offers of amnesty, without directly claiming infringement, to a reported 75,000 companies in June.
1995-04-27: Interactive Gift Express Inc. (IGE) notifies the first three targeted companies of its intent to enforce the Freeny patent.
1995-05-25: IGE notifies 30 more companies and says 50 more are targeted for June.
1995-08-15: IGE files suit against three companies:
Dun & Bradstreet Meca Software Decision Support Group
1995-08-24: IGE files suit against 18 companies:
Adobe Systems Inc. Kidsoft Inc. Apogee Software Ltd. The Library Corp. Broderbund Software Inc. The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc. CompuServe Inc. Soft & Net Distribution S.A. CyberSource Corp. Softlock Inc. First Virtual Holdings Inc. Telebase Systems Inc. Intermind Corp. VocalTec Inc. Internet Software Inc. Waldenbooks Intuit Inc. Ziff Communications Co.
1995-09-19: IBM agrees to license the Freeny patent from IGE. IGE stock (NASDAQ: GIFT) hits a high of 4-5/8. In April it was trading at 1-1/2; the closing price on July 12 was 6-3/8.
1995-11-08: IGE changes its name to E-DATA Corporation.
1996-03-20: VocalTec Ltd. (NASDAQ: VOCLF) of Herzliah, Israel settles with E-DATA.
1996-03-26: E-DATA files suit against 22 companies:
Software Publishing Corporation Cycle Software Services Axcis Information Network, Inc. AGFA Division - Miles, Inc. Cognitive Technologies Corp. CD-Max Inc. Pacific Coast Software Index Stock Photography, Inc. Software On-Line Astoria Software Test Drive Corporation Portland Software Micropatent Corp. Picture Network International, Ltd. Broadcast Software Photodisk, Inc. Software Supermarket, Inc. Software Vend, Inc. Monotype Typography, Inc. West Stock, Inc. The Investex Group
1996-05-07: E-DATA begins sending out 75,000 letters to potential infringers, offering "amnesty" from past infringement if the recipient company or software author agrees to pay royalties amounting to 1% - 5% of revenues. E-DATA takes out "Carrot and Stick" ads in the media.
1996-06-21: A Federal judge meets with attorneys for E-DATA and more than a dozen defendents; requires E-DATA to list for each defendent which products may infringe the patent and which of the patent's claims may be infringed.