Performance Marketing Insider has learned that EWA Network, owned by the infamous Ryan Eagle, is the latest defendant in a growing long list of companies sued by Essociates. The lawsuit claims, as does the other ones, that EWA Network has been infringing on Essociate’s “Affiliate Marketing” patent.
Essociate has been suing companies since 2009, asserting that they own the patent to any type of affiliate marketing that takes offers from any other source and runs them on another source. Since almost all affiliate marketing platforms run offers from other sources or their clients have their own platform, almost every company in the industry is in theory infringing on the patent.
The purpose of the lawsuits have been described by some as being nothing less than extortion: the cost to settle is often a bit less than the cost of the lawsuit, allowing Essociate to build a war chest to sue other companies. Notably they have not sued any technology companies, including the platforms that these companies run on, since most likely those companies would vigorously defend any claims.
The belief is that Essociate, whose entire business model seems to be these lawsuits, will eventually take on large companies in the industry, including Amazon and EBay, once they have enough money to sustain a fight with those companies.