How NewEgg Shut Down the Shopping Cart Patent Troll

Geek Smack! Show

Geek Smack!

Quiet week as I am putting together CES video and planning for the next trip. Last night’s thunderstorms were simply awesome but in the next 24 hours we go from record highs to seasonal and SNOW. That is why I am thinking SXSW which is right around the corner – which is why I started a new podcast called “GoinSXSW“. Planning some big guests coming on soon


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Geek Smack: How NewEgg Killed the Patent Troll

A patent troll is a person that patents something that you wouldn’t expect to get a patent then goes out and sues you. A way to slide to unlock – pulling a cord to open a Venetian blind – allowing cords to run through your vest material. These are all patents that you could possibly get sued if you incorporated into your item.

A patent troll might not have thought of the idea either. They just noticed that no one patented it. Therefore they take the time and money to get the patent so they can go for some big names.

One company in particular is Soverain Software. They took ideas from open market and got patents for them. The company turned around and started suing people for “Shopping Cart” – the service that holds your items in cart until it’s time to check out.

While other companies settled, NewEgg decided to fight. They lost in East Texas court. However, NewEgg pursued the case and not only got the case overturned but got all three patents in question invalidated.

What does this mean? You can put a shopping cart on your website without fear of someone coming to collect.

While you might not like a patent troll – they are out there ready to pounce on an idea to say they thought of it first. You have two choices – pay the fees or fight in court with risk of losing. I am glad that NewEgg took the risk in this case.

Geek Smack! is a weekly video show and podcast that comes out every Tuesday evening. Your host: Jeffrey Powers – talks tech news, IT news and geek news for the week. Geek Smack! is ©2012 under a Creative Commons no-deriv license. Never take candy from strangers. If you would like more information about what is technology, recent news, Geekazine, and Jeffrey Powers, feel free to contact him. Jeffrey Powers does interviews, just ask!

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