In court documents filed today in a lawsuit brought by Connecticut-based Priceline Corp., Expedia, Inc. and Microsoft Corp. moved to dismiss the suit, citing Priceline’s failure to include a necessary party to the case and calling into question Priceline’s ownership of the disputed patent.
“Considering that Marketel International claims ownership of the ‘207 patent, Priceline’s case against Expedia and Microsoft should be dismissed. Add to that other claims against the patent such as that of Aden Enterprises and it is clear that there are serious questions surrounding Priceline’s lawsuit.” said Byron Bishop, Vice President of product development, Expedia Inc. “We remain ready to show that Priceline’s claims are without merit and that the Expedia® Price Matcher? services do not infringe the ‘207 patent. However, before we can do that, the fundamental question of the ownership of the disputed patent needs to be resolved.”
In its legal brief filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, Microsoft and Expedia moved to dismiss the case in light of Priceline’s failure to join a legally indispensable party to the case. Priceline had failed to include the indispensable party—a California company named Marketel International—even though Marketel sued Priceline over the Priceline patent in January 1999, well before Priceline’s suit against Microsoft and Expedia. Marketel has asserted an ownership interest and has raised an issue as to whether Priceline has any rights in the patent.
About the Price Matcher Services
Flight Price Matcher and Hotel Price Matcher allow customers to specify their own prices for airline tickets and hotel rooms, giving them access to discounted rates that might not otherwise be available to them. Because these features are deeply integrated within a broader set of services, customers are better equipped to make educated requests and can feel more confident in their overall experience on the Expedia.com? travel service. For example, customers won’t overpay with their Flight or Hotel Price Matcher requests because Expedia.com checks those requests against the published rates for airline tickets or hotels rooms before responding. If a customer looking for airline tickets unintentionally requests a price higher than the available published fares for their specified dates, that customer will, instead, be matched with the lower published fare—thus saving even more money than anticipated. Additionally, because it’s all on one site, customers can use a combination of the hotel and flight services, see all their travel information in a single itinerary, and have all their questions answered at a single toll-free customer support number.
About Expedia, Inc.
Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) helps travelers best meet all of their travel needs with multiple booking options, extensive destination advice, and strong editorial content. This includes finding the right trip at the right price for airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, vacations and cruises. Expedia.com (www.expedia.com) provides excellent resources for choosing and planning trips, including such features as the World Guide with more than 400 destinations, Expedia Maps with point-to-point driving directions, news on fare sales, travel advisories, frequent-flier mileage tracking, and more.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.