If you thought there was a rivalry between CVS and Walgreen’s, you would be right. The competing drug store companies are the two largest in the United States, and it seems as if the two are always looking to gain a competitive advantage over the other.
At least Walgreens would contend that CVS is trying to take advantage of it; and it appears that Walgreen’s would have a point.
The two drugstore chains recently reached a settlement in Walgreen’s suit alleging CVS of patent infringement. According to the complaint filed in federal district court, Walgreen’s claims that CVS used and benefitted from patented software that would allow customers to place orders for prescriptions for medicines on their mobile phones.
According to a recent Bloomberg.com report, patent no. 8,626,530 was issued to Walgreens, but CVS reportedly was using the software without a proper license. Licensing is one of the ways that a creator of software can protect the exclusivity of its work and benefit from other entities using its creations at the same time. However, when an entity uses an unauthorized version of substantially similar software, it could form the basis of a patent infringement lawsuit.
The damages compensable through such a suit include the profits realized through the use of patented material, as well as an injunction preventing an entity from selling infringing products. It is no surprise that CVS agreed to stop using the infringing mobile software, but it is likely that such a compromise took a great deal of negotiating through legal counsel.