- Oxylabs initiated legal proceedings against its competitor, Bright Data.
- Years ago, Bright Data filed infringement complaints against Oxylabs.
- Technologies in question concern the Smart Proxy Rotator and web script management.
Oxylabs, a proxy and data collection service provider, has initiated legal proceedings against its competitor Bright Data, alleging that they have infringed upon three patents owned by Oxylabs. These actions are a continuation of a seemingly endless legal battle that these parties have been involved in.
Several years ago, Bright Data, then known as Luminati Networks, filed their own patent infringement complaints against Oxylabs. They had alleged that the use of Oxylabs’ residential proxy network and Real-Time Crawler (now split into 3 separate products) was infringing upon their patents.
As the ongoing cases between the two competitors have been sent to mediation with the expectation that the companies might settle their disagreements outside of court, Oxylabs turned the tide with the newest patent case, showing that these events might be far from over.
Notwithstanding its non-patent nature complaints, Oxylabs hadn’t previously filed any patent infringement lawsuits. Now, according to the press release distributed on January the 7th, they are putting Bright Data to the test. Presumably, the company had infringed on three patents held by Oxylabs.
The technologies in question concern the Smart Proxy Rotator and web script management. As Oxylabs and Bright Data are directly involved with both proxies and automated data acquisition, the former alleges that the latter have been selling services that rely on the aforementioned patented technologies.
Such claims of Oxylabs follow the partial conclusion of the previous case that was initiated by Bright Data at the Texas Eastern District Court in the United States. Bright Data had received a positive jury verdict which had confirmed that some of their patent claims have been infringed upon. Oxylabs, as a result of the verdict, is ordered a repayment of monetary damages. The jury verdict, however, still needs to be approved by the court and is further subject to appeal proceedings.
Although mediation has been suggested as a way to resolve the differences between the affected parties, a complete resolution seems unlikely. All technologies, mentioned in the previous three lawsuits, are integral to the business models of both companies.
So far, Bright Data has been silent on the matter while Oxylabs distributed a statement, outlining their current stance. In it, the CEO of Oxylabs comments that they believe that Bright Data should respect the patent portfolio held by the company and that the continuous lawsuits against them as well as other market players threaten the fairness of the market.
Both companies have close ties with other IP address technology businesses. Bright Data, then known as Luminati, had a majority stake in Hola VPN, which had come under fire due to possible unethical use of its customer bandwidth. Allegedly, Hola VPN might have been using idle users as residential proxy endpoints without acquiring explicit consent.
Oxylabs, which has filed the current case under the legal entity metacluster LT, previously had been involved in several lawsuits against Bright Data. Oxylabs itself is linked to Tesonet, an investor in many different online services.
Both companies, and most businesses associated with them, are vying for dominance in the market. There are, however, smaller players in the proxy industry such as Smartproxy, IPRoyal, NetNut, and many others.
If either of the companies claims are found valid, these smaller players might be at risk of litigation. Bright Data have already sued some of the aforementioned companies with claims similar to the ones thrown at Oxylabs.
While the landscape continues to be tricky, proxies both have skyrocketed in popularity. Proxies are frequently used by businesses that are in need of automated data collection or internet monitoring activities.
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