Friday, February 1, 2013

Newegg brings on the smackdown with the "Shopping Cart" lawsuit

Online store shopping cart graphic
If you have ever shopped online, then you have almost certainly come across the shopping cart widget. Items can be added to the virtual cart to save for purchase at a later time, perhaps to give you more time to shop. Once you have your entire purchase ready, a quick click to the "check out" button will complete the order.

While the shopping cart is pretty much ubiquitous on the Internet, one "company" claims that it owns the rights to the virtual cart's use. Soverain Software is a sham business existing to suck money out of other, more successful businesses through patent lawsuits. Soverain had produced the two patents 5,715,314 and 5,909,492 (and, on occasion, a third: 7,272,639) to prove their case against such defendants as Amazon and The Gap, and more recently: Newegg.

All of the businesses targeted by Soverain's high-end legal thugs gave up and settled -- after all, the cost of settling was a smarter business decision than fighting it to the bitter end, legal fees and all. Newegg, on the other hand, was most definitely not going to take this sitting down, especially not when the suit clearly spat in the face of all that which they stand against.

Soverain Software technology site
Still can't cover up their patent-trolling
After a mild defeat in court, Newegg struck back with an appeal to render the patents wielded by Soverain "obvious." In other words, this move would invalidate the patents, as well as the cases based on them. Good news for the rational market: Newegg won, citing examples like CompuServe's similar and earlier services. Soverain was squeezed of all its ill-gotten gains, and justice returned to the earth...

...if only for a moment.

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