RetailMeNot sues rival Honey over patent infringement

RetailMeNot is suing rival Honey over patent infringement, the company announced this week. Honey is the maker of a deal-finding browser extension that helps consumers shopping online get the best price by automatically applying coupon codes at checkout. It also helps with finding the best price on Amazon purchases, doles out digital coupons, offers cash back, helps you track price drops and more.

According to RetailMeNot’s suit, Honey infringes on U.S. Patents 9,626,688; 9,639,853; 9,953,335; and 9,965,769, which detail technologies related to things like facilitating access to promotional offers, merchant offers and coupon codes.

“These valuable patents protect RetailMeNot’s pioneering developments in computer-related technologies, and Honey’s unauthorized use of them enables key features of Honey’s website and browser extensions,” RetailMeNot stated in a press release about the lawsuit, which is how Honey first heard the news.

The suit comes at a time when Honey is growing in popularity among online shoppers, while RetailMeNot is getting a bit long in the tooth. The latter has been around since 2006, while L.A.-based Honey was founded in 2012, and is backed by more than $40 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. It had a reported 5 million monthly active users as of last fall, and said users were saving an average of $32 per month with its help.

Honey has also dabbled with expanding its deal-finding efforts to other verticals, including as of last year, travel.

Meanwhile, RetailMeNot, a subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings, claims $4.8 billion in retailer sales were attributable to consumer transactions from paid digital offers in its marketplace last year, with more than $560 million which were attributable to its in-store solution. (The company operates a number of websites, including in the U.S. and .ca in Canada, plus in the United Kingdom; and in France; and and in North America.)

Reached for comment, Honey called the lawsuit “baseless.”

“We were disappointed to learn of this lawsuit from a press release and are in the process of reviewing the documents with our legal counsel,” said Honey spokesperson, Kelly Parisi, VP, Communications. “The lawsuit is baseless and the claims are irrelevant to how consumers use and experience our services. It’s unfortunate that they’ve taken this tactic to try to thwart innovation that helps consumers save time and money when shopping online.”