You personally may not have heard of Soverain Software, but the company is well-known to many online retailers. While Soverain owns several patents, they’re not a legitimate company, but rather a patent troll. They’ve been suing online retailers left and right for the past few years, claiming that their patent entitles them to 1% of every shopping cart transaction on the internet, but computer parts retailer Newegg.com finally took them down.
Soverain actually ended up suing Newegg for $2.5 million in 2010, and won. They also sued Amazon in 2005 and walked away with $40 million. However, unlike other online retailers, Newegg wanted to fight until the death. Instead of taking the safe road financially and settling with Soverain, Newegg decided to take down the retail patent troll for good.
Newegg ended up getting the 2010 court case overturned, thus invalidating all other lawsuits handed out by Soverain, effectively ending their reign on online shopping patent trolling. Newegg’s Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng says that the attitudes of the court officials had a lot to do with Newegg’s win, when they finally decided that enough was enough and gave Soverain what it deserved.
Chong says that this isn’t the first time that the company has been hit with bogus lawsuits, saying that companies “claim to own the drop-down menu, or a search box, or Web navigation.” Chong also said that one of the reasons that Newegg was able to fight back so relentlessly was that the company is majority-controlled and had a bit more freedom to fight as opposed to other online retailers.
[via Ars Technica]