The lawsuits were filed. Many companies were involved, including names like JC Penney and The new York Times. The lawsuit alleged these companies were in violation of the due to their use of hyperlinks in text messages sent to subscribers on their text marketing list. Now a judge has dismissed those suits.
Filed by Helferich Patent Licensing, the lawsuits claimed the accused violated their patent when they sent URL enabled text messages to their customers. Thanks to the judge dismissing these lawsuits, many smaller and larger businesses alike can breathe easy.
The judge ruled that the patents in place had exhausted because they were licensed to handset manufacturers only; thus prevents the company from pursuing further charges. With the judge’s ruling, double recovery is not possible for Helferich Patent Licensing. There are numerous companies who will not participate in SMS/MMS marketing based upon this fear alone. Now there are far less litigation worries.
Text message marketing is nothing new. It has been around for the past 20 years, serving as a platform for brands to interact with consumers, offer them deals, promotions and information and more.
Since 2008 Helferich has sued numerous companies and threatened many others. This includes organizations like the NBA, Bravo media and others.
The Hyperlink Controversy
So exactly what fueled HLP to file suit against so many brands? The use of hyperlinks that Helferich said violated those patents. The company has several patents, with some as old as 1997, and the United States Patent & Trademark office is still looking over those patents.
Making Room for Text
Smartphones are increasingly popular these days, and people continue to want to converse with their favorite brands via text marketing. Most text messages, a good 97% of them, are read after just three minutes of them being sent. The legal repercussions of what could happen as the result of text marketing, however, has kept many from utilizing and investing in the platform.
Now, however, companies of all sizes who once feared the hyperlink patent war have one less thing to worry over. Text messaging is more popular than email marketing, with a 10% greater open rate, but those risks were just too great for some companies to take. Things are definitely going to change from this point forward.