Coolsavings Keeps Busy

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Internet coupon company Coolsavings.com Inc. yesterday acquired the intellectual property assets of comparison shopping technology provider Surfari Inc.


Coolsavings plans to build on Surfari technology to create a comparison shopping search engine tool that will be free to members.


Dubbed CoolShopper, the service is expected to launch early next year. It will give members the ability to identify and compare products, brands and merchants while simultaneously receiving CoolSavings offers or incentives.


The terms of the deal were not disclosed.


The acquisition comes less than a week after Coolsavings announced the settlement of a patent infringement lawsuit with iQ.COM.


The lawsuit alleged infringement on Coolsavings' patent for an interactive marketing network and process using electronic certificates.


Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but iQ.COM has been granted a limited, royalty-bearing license.


The lawsuit was one of eight filed by Coolsavings in U.S. District Court in Chicago pertaining to its ownership of patents on the distribution of coupons over the Internet.


The company also recently settled patent litigation with iVillage, planetU, eCentives, CouponSurfer, Xadvantage and emaildirect.


The settlement announcement came one day after Coolsavings and Asset Solutions teamed to develop Internet and offline promotions for grocery retailers.


Through this agreement, Coolsavings gained the ability to showcase its services to leading food retailer clients of Asset Solutions, the promotion agency for Acosta Sales and Marketing Co., a traditional sales and marketing firm.


Coolsavings provides coupon, savings notice, rebate, loyalty point and sampling programs for its dot-com and traditional clients.


The deal added an online marketing component to Asset Solutions' offline strategies.
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