Patent trolls make life difficult for a lot of companies in the technology world. Patent trolls are firms that own patents that they don’t make use of and only use those patents to try and force licensing fees out of companies doing business in the tech world. One of the most notorious patent trolls is a company called Soverain Software LLC.
That company has been suing a number of online firms over the last few years including Amazon and Newegg. Soverain walked away with $40 million in its suit against Amazon and was awarded $2.5 million in its early case against Newegg. The loss for Newegg wasn't the end, the company continued fighting Soverain and eventually got the case overturned.
As you can imagine, that didn’t sit well with Soverain and they appealed the case. Recently the US Supreme Court ruled that it would not take on the case of Soverain vs. Newegg over what are called "shopping cart patents." Newegg was originally accused of infringing on three patents under that umbrella.
Soverain originally won its case in the US district Court for the Eastern District of Texas, but lost in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. That appeals court ruled the patents were invalid because they were obvious. The Supreme Court ruled that the decision of the appeals court should be upheld and refused to hear the case again.