Most businesses are completely unaware that sending a URL inside a SMS, aka a mobile text message, is patented. And not all SMS providers have acquired a license to protect your business from a lawsuit.
It is not just technology companies that are the subject of mobile-related patent infringement lawsuits. Increasingly, the mobile marketing activities of media companies, retailers, sports leagues and others are also the focus of such lawsuits. Companies such as New York Times, CBS, Best Buy, the NBA and more have been named in lawsuits. These suits against marketers are significant, especially since they appear to be multiplying.
Helferich, the companies bringing the lawsuit for using URLs inside SMS, is looking to gain a licensing agreement that would require marketers to pay a fee for the right to use the technology in question. Rather than undergo a long and expensive litigation, some companies under litigation have chosen to settle. Helferich’s lawsuit is pretty straightforward; they offer to settle for $750,000 which will give the company the appropriate license required. According to the post more than 100 companies have taken the deal. A small list of these companies includes: 7-Eleven, Anheuser Busch, Ace Hardware, Adidas/Reebok, Domino’s Pizza and Best Buy. Those that are choosing to fight are not faring well as the courts are upholding in favour of Helferich.
For these large corporations that can absorbed the cost, they will move on without much impact to their overall business. But for small- and medium-sized businesses, this lawsuit could completely destroy them. And in this case ignorance isn’t bliss! More than 150 companies have already been sued or named in a lawsuit.
Universalbite has been aware of this problem for some time now and have been working hard to help our clients find a solution. As a result, we are now able to offer a solid mobile text messaging program that is fully licensed. And this license extends to all our clients’ mobile campaigns.
If you are deciding on a mobile SMS provider or are running mobile campaigns, be sure to check with your text message provider to see if they have acquired the appropriate license. If not, you don’t have to turn off your mobile marketing program. Just give us a call, and we’ll walk you through a free demo. We can quickly set you up and import your current subscriber list.