RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM is suing Airbnb over four patents linked to e-commerce. And the suit could be timed to tie in with Airbnb’s expected IPO offering that’s expected sometime this year.

The companies have been neogitating over the patents for six years, says a report from Bloomberg news.

IBM noted that “enough is enough” and sued, citing failed negotiations.

“IBM’s timing is unlikely to be a coincidence, argued Uuniversity of California Hastings law professor Robin Feldman,” noted The Financial Times.

Bloomberg added that IBM wants to seek any further unautorized use.

Website Seeking Alpha notes that IBM won a similar suit against Groupon, winning an $83 million settlement.

The tech giant also has cross-license agreements with other firms such as Apple and Amazon.

IBM employs several thousand people across North Carolina and operates one of its largest campuses in RTP.