On September 4, 2020, AudioEye, Inc. sued accessiBe, Ltd for patent infringement. The lawsuit between these two very well-funded digital accessibility companies was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas and reported in Justia Dockets and Filings.
- Read the September 4, 2020 complaint in AudioEye v. accessiBe. (An amended complaint was filed 3 days later).
- If you’re not familiar with accessiBe, I wrote about that company and others like it in my post titled Honor the ADA, Avoid Web Accessibility Quick Fix Overlays.
The Complaint says that accessiBe has infringed three patents held by AudioEye. It describes the most recent patent as follows:
AudioEye is the owner by assignment of all right, title, and interest in and to U.S. Patent No. 10,762,280 entitled “Systems, Devices, and Methods for Facilitating Website Remediation and Promoting Assistive Technologies” (“the ’280 patent”), which the United States Patent and Trademark Office lawfully and duly issued on September 1, 2020.AudioEye v. accessiBe complaint, paragraph 15
Spending Accessibility Dollars
In 2018 AudioEye announced a 6.5 million dollar “growth equity financing. Two years earlier the company announced 1.5 million dollar “equity financing.” As for accessiBe, it announced it’s own 12 million dollar funding in May of 2020.
That’s a lot of money. We already know millions of it is going to the sales and marketing side of things. And now some of that money is no doubt going to lawyers to battle it out in a lawsuit.
Imagine. What if funders instead invested in building accessibility capacity and true digital inclusion with disabled people? No hard sell. No battle-ground litigation. Just money to make the digital world work for everyone.