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Print 29 comment(s) - last by lexluthermiest.. on Jan 15 at 2:30 PM

Newegg wins yet another patent battle

Newegg Inc. scored a major win against Soverain Software LLC, as the U.S. Supreme Court has decided it won't hear a patent case between the two. 

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a patent case where Soverain accused Newegg of infringing on three patents regarding the use of shopping carts online. 

Newegg argued that the shopping cart patents, which describe how products are bought and paid for online, "applies the common sense concept of a shopping cart to the Internet."

In other words, many sites on the Web use shopping carts and Newegg thought this was a BS patent. 

It seems like the Supreme Court thinks so, too. 

"The witch is dead, hurray," said Lee Cheng, Newegg's chief legal officer. "We are very, very pleased that the Supreme Court has recognized ... these patents should never have been granted in the first place. What we have showed in the Soverain case is the fighting back works." 

In January of last year, Cheng called the patent battle with Soverain "bullshit."

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit," said Cheng back in January 2013. "We saw that if we paid off this patent holder, we'd have to pay off every patent holder this same amount. This is the first case we took all the way to trial. And now, nobody has to pay Soverain jack squat for these patents."


[SOURCE: AnandTech]

As you might've guessed, Soverain wasn't as happy about the outcome. 

"We're obviously disappointed that the court denied our petition," said Katharine Wolanyk, Soverain President. "It's a really tough time to be a patent owner."

Before the Supreme Court decision, Soverain managed to win against Newegg in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. However, it lost at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 

Newegg is no stranger to patent trolls. In May of last year, it teamed up with Overstock.com and defeated France's Alcatel-Lucent SA, which holds over 29,000 patents due to Bell Labs going belly up in 2006, in a patent case. Many other e-tailers were too scared to fight Alcatel-Lucent SA, but not Newegg. 

Source: Chicago Tribune



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ha
By Motoman on 1/14/2014 12:38:05 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
"We're obviously disappointed that the court denied our petition," said Katharine Wolanyk, Soverain President. "It's a really tough time to be a patent troll."


FIFY.

Also, it's not a particularly hard time to be a patent troll...you just need to be a lot bigger and have a lot more lawyers and a lot more money to be abusive with. Like Apple, for example.




RE: ha
By lagomorpha on 1/14/2014 1:23:12 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
"It's a really tough time to be a patent troll."


Quick! Use fire or acid to finish it off or it will regenerate!


RE: ha
By Samus on 1/15/2014 3:15:07 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously.

It's an even tougher time to be an innovator or inventor with constant threat of being sued as soon as you bring some trolls "idea" to market that in most cases won't even vaguely be related to their patent.

I'm not a newegg fan boy but I'm glad they are fighting this BS. Somebody has too, otherwise, in the end, it'll affect the consumers with higher prices.


RE: ha
By Flunk on 1/14/2014 2:03:46 PM , Rating: 3
"Patent Troll"s by definition, do not produce products using their patents. Apple may aggressively assert a lot of spurious copyrights but they also produce a lot of products.


RE: ha
By Motoman on 1/14/14, Rating: 0
RE: ha
By aurareturn on 1/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: ha
By FITCamaro on 1/14/2014 2:35:29 PM , Rating: 5
Anyone who thinks Apple didn't copy Samsung's digital picture frames in their appearance is a troll.

Apple didn't invent shapes or rounded edges. And there are only so many places to put a button.


RE: ha
By Solandri on 1/14/2014 2:48:45 PM , Rating: 4
The term "troll" comes from the folk tale about the troll who lived under a bridge he didn't own and charged travelers a fee to cross it. Anyone using a patent for an idea it doesn't really own (e.g. obvious stuff like shopping carts or flat rectangles with rounded corners) is a patent troll.

The stuff about "doesn't produce a product" just singles out an egregious type of patent troll which recently came into existence. That certain companies can make no products and deal exclusively in licensing questionable patents is cited as an example of how out of control patents have become. It was never intended as the be-all end-all definition of a patent troll.


RE: ha
By lexluthermiester on 1/15/2014 2:30:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well said, and completely correct.


RE: ha
By invidious on 1/14/2014 2:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the things that make the iPhone distinct are considered to be bad things by most of Android consumers so the idea that Samsung's success is the result of their copying of the iPhone is fundamentally flawed.


RE: ha
By Just Tom on 1/14/2014 10:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
The definition of patent troll is mutable, but his certainly is not uncommon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_Troll


RE: ha
By ritualm on 1/14/2014 2:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care that Apple's a "productive" patent troll, the fact of the matter is it's still a patent troll. Shoot 'em in the head.


RE: ha
By sprockkets on 1/14/2014 2:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
You better take a look at stuff apple patents - most of it isn't anything they make, and a lot of it is what *other* companies have made.


Uhm no...
By crimsonson on 1/14/2014 3:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In other words, many sites on the Web use shopping carts and Newegg thought this was a BS patent. It seems like the Supreme Court thinks so, too.


No. The Supreme Court rejecting to hear a case can be of multiple reasons but they never say why. So to say "thinks so" is not only inaccurate it is misleading.

The SC did not decide anything on this case, other than it is not worth its time TO HEAR the case based on the merits and arguments brought.

It has NOT ruled on the case.




RE: Uhm no...
By ClownPuncher on 1/14/2014 3:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
Worded, "it seems" makes the statement OK. It's speculative.


RE: Uhm no...
By crimsonson on 1/14/2014 3:54:24 PM , Rating: 2
Even "seems" is misleading.

Not hearing the case is NOT even close to deciding a case. The SC might feel that it can be resolved in the lower courts or let the public argument play out or there is no issue worthy of SC or it might think it be best argued in the next session or whatever.

The point is, NOT HEARING the case could be of dozens of reasons but one thing it is DEFINITELY is NOT - judging the case.

The line is just wrong and even to imply it ("seems") is absolutely misleading and wrong.


RE: Uhm no...
By ritualm on 1/14/2014 9:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt the use of words by the SC matters much. Soverain's legal case against Newegg is done, and not even a last-ditch appeal will salvage its efforts.


RE: Uhm no...
By rdhood on 1/14/2014 3:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The SC did not decide anything on this case, other than it is not worth its time TO HEAR the case based on the merits and arguments brought. It has NOT ruled on the case.


Semantics. Not ruling on the case means that the appeals court decision stands. They KNOW the result of their decision. When SCOTUS turns down a case, they have DECIDED to let the ruling stand.


RE: Uhm no...
By crimsonson on 1/14/14, Rating: 0
RE: Uhm no...
By Solandri on 1/14/2014 10:21:41 PM , Rating: 2
In a regular court case the same issue/law could be brought up in a different, unrelated trial and the SCotUS may decide to take up that case.

In a patent case though, this is pretty much final. The same patent can't be brought up in a different trial because the appeals court invalidated the patent, and the SCotUS was the only authority which could reinstate it. Unlike the district courts, the federal court covers the entire country. So the patent is invalid for the entire U.S., meaning there can be no more patent lawsuits using it, meaning no more cases for this patent can reach the SCotUS.

The only way it could be revived is if, as you say, the SCotUS decides to hear it next session. That'd be highly unusual though, and it can't use any of the arguments Soverain presented in this appeal (presumably the ones they thought they had the best chance of succeeding with).


Work a little harder maybe.
By JediJeb on 1/14/2014 2:06:03 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
"We're obviously disappointed that the court denied our petition," said Katharine Wolanyk, Soverain President. "It's a really tough time to be a patent owner."


Maybe online retail companies should just rename their "shopping cart" to "shopping bag" and completely avoid the patent hassle.

As dumb, simplistic and OBVIOUS as the whole idea of an online shopping cart is, it should never have been patentable in the first place, and if it was, then changing the name to shopping bag should have been just as legal of a way to avoid any patent infringement.

Maybe next we will see the paper shopping bag companies suing the makers of the re-useable cloth shopping bag companies for patent infringement. Oh wait, maybe a re-useable bag and a bag are totally different things, or maybe not. I wonder if the holder of the physical shopping cart patent can file and infringement case against the holder of the digital shopping cart patent holder for infringing their idea and applying it to the digital world?

Seriously, when such trivial things are awarded patents, it has come time to just get rid of the joke that is the US Patent Office. It used to be that the patent office helped protect people like Eli Whitney when he designed the truly revolutionary idea of the Cotton Gin, how it just helps lawyers sue small children when the pick up a rock and carry it in their pocket because they might have infringed the patent on the Pet Rock.




RE: Work a little harder maybe.
By lagomorpha on 1/14/2014 2:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe online retail companies should just rename their "shopping cart" to "shopping bag" and completely avoid the patent hassle.


A 'shopping bag' is where items are placed after they are purchased. Changing 'cart' to 'bag' would confuse a lot of consumers especially the elderly. "What's this? I already purchased it? It's in my shopping bag..."


RE: Work a little harder maybe.
By FITCamaro on 1/14/2014 2:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
We don't need to get rid of the patent office. We need to make government less stupid. And have actually competent people working there. But the government today largely only employs those to stupid to be hired by the private sector.


RE: Work a little harder maybe.
By JediJeb on 1/14/2014 4:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But the government today largely only employs those to stupid to be hired by the private sector.


Amen to that. I know of two people fired from our lab that have been hired by the state as inspectors. One was fired for some very unethical work, but was snatched up to work for the state government immediately.


RE: Work a little harder maybe.
By vXv on 1/15/2014 4:15:32 AM , Rating: 1
Someone has to sue the USPTO for granting such bullshit patents. That might change how they operate (i.e not just approve everything but do their job properly).


Yay Newegg!
By sgestwicki on 1/14/2014 2:11:58 PM , Rating: 3
I am so thankful for Newegg doing this. Please make sure you buy something from Newegg. It is the best way to say we support your efforts in killing trolls. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...




RE: Yay Newegg!
By Roy2001 on 1/14/2014 4:29:39 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, thanks for info. Ordered one, and kill all the shameless trolls!


By Roy2001 on 1/14/2014 4:11:09 PM , Rating: 2
Those bastards should file patent for eating, breathing, drinking, sleeping, walking.




Join Forces?
By Lazyboywonder on 1/14/2014 9:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know if there already is one, but there should be some sort of association manufacturers can join to pool their money for the sole purpose of fighting patent troll companies like this.




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