A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, California by Samesurf Inc. has accused Intuit Inc. of integrating Samesurf’s patented co-browsing technology into a host of Intuit products without authorization. In Tuesday’s complaint, Samesurf says Intuit copied its protected intellectual property after engaging in negotiations concerning a potential partnership that never materialized.
The filing explains that co-browsing technology, also known as synchronized browsing, enables multiple users to share web browsing interactions. Los Angeles-based Samesurf says three of its co-browsing patents describe desirable improvements on existing technology.
Specifically, they “safeguard sensitive customer data during shared sessions by distinguishing between screen elements that are classified as ‘sharable web browsing interactions’ versus ‘non-sharable web browsing interactions’ enables sensitive content such as credit card and/or social security numbers to be ‘masked’ or not made viewable by unauthorized parties such as company agents during shared online interactions,” the complaint says.
The lawsuit details business negotiations between the parties in 2015 including multiple meetings, tailored software implementations, and technical follow-ups with Samesurf. It also purports to reprint emails that put Intuit on notice of Samesurf’s technology.
Though Samesurf allegedly spent time to add “customized functionality to its own suite of offerings at the specific request of and for the specific use of Intuit,” no business relationship was ever formed. Instead, Samesurf says Intuit used the opportunity to learn Samesurf’s methods.
It then copied Samesurf’s ideas and used them in various Intuit products including TurboTax Live, QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Live, Smartlook, and QuickBooks Help, disregarded its patents, and ultimately left Samesurf with no choice but to sue for patent infringement, the complaint says.
The filing states three claims for infringement corresponding to each of Samesurf’s three patents and seeks damages for willful infringement. Samesurf is represented by McKool Smith P.C.