The Real Marketing Files a Patent Lawsuit against Starbucks Korea for Infringement

Feb 15, 2019

The Real Marketing (CEO Son Jong-hee), which is an IT startup that for Tom & Toms, Lotte Members, and LG Uplus, filed a lawsuit against Starbucks Korea for infringement of a patent.
More companies are issuing electronic receipts rather than paper receipts as number of users of simple payment services increased recently. This will be the first large-scale patent lawsuit surrounding electronic receipt business that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Real Marketing and Starbucks Korea selected their respective law firms regarding this lawsuit.
According to legal industry and relevant industries, The Real Marketing selected invenSync as its legal representative and filed a lawsuit against Starbucks Korea for infringement of a patent at Seoul Central District Court.
According to The Real Marketing’s written document obtained by The Electronic Times, The Real Marketing claims that electronic receipt service within Starbucks application infringing its ‘electronic receipt issuing method’ patent and that it is taking a huge blow as a result. The Real Marketing wants electronic receipt service within Starbucks application to be prohibited and it also wants Starbucks Korea to pay $887 (1 million KRW) per day for infringement.
“Through our legal team, we were able to confirm that Starbucks Korea has been using our patent without permission.” said CEO Son Jong-hee of The Real Marketing. “We filed a lawsuit to notify others about how Starbucks Korea, which is giving $62.1 million (70 billion KRW) of loyalty annually, is stealing our idea.”
Starbucks Korea selected BKL Law Firm as its legal representative and is preparing for legal actions as well.
The Real Marketing applied and registered its patent (10-1255142) regarding a method for issuing electronic receipts back in October of 2011. Its patent is based on an electronic receipt and information being issued to a customer’s mobile device after a product or a service is purchased.
The Real Marketing claims that Starbucks Korea is infringing every process of its patent.

Screenshot of an electronic receipt within Starbucks application <Screenshot of an electronic receipt within Starbucks application >

BKL Law Firm refuted The Real Marketing’s claim by saying that it is difficult to understand how The Real Marketing’s claim corresponds to an infringement and that The Real Marketing is making an extreme unfair decision through its own arbitrary interpretation.
“QR code is not created from an authentication server, but it is created whenever a customer makes a payment and it is a payment method that is only effective for 10 minutes.” said BKL Law Firm. It also stated that Starbucks Korea’s act does not correspond to an infringement of a patent just by looking at few major compositions and technical characteristics and that it will file a lawsuit against The Real Marketing for confirmation of the scope of rights if The Real Marketing continues to claim baseless infringement of a patent.
On the other hand, invenSync is stating that Starbucks Korea must stop its electronic receipt service on its own, pay The Real Marketing for past infringement, and submit a written document that it will not infringe The Real Marketing’s patent in the future anymore.
Meanwhile, The Real Marketing is also looking into taking a legal action against SPC Group and others that provide electronic receipts. There is a chance that this legal battle will turn into a much larger battle depending on a decision since large distributors and major franchises have been introducing electronic receipts recently one after the other.
Electronic receipt is a receipt that includes purchasing items paid by mobile payments, points from credit cards, and cash at stores. It is used by major distributors as it can replace a paper receipt and create Big Data on purchasing store, time of purchase, purchasing items, and amount of spending.
Staff Reporter Gil, Jaeshik | osolgil@etnews.com

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