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Anyone who visited Soverain Software's website could be forgiven for believing it's a real company. There are separate pages for "products," "services," and "solutions." There's the "About Us" page. There are phone numbers and e-mail addresses for sales and tech support, even a login page for customers.Patent Troll Shopping Cart Blocked By Newegg Appeal [arstechnica.com]
It's all a sham. Court records show Soverain hasn't made a saleóever.
Soverain's plans were always bigger than Amazon and bigger than Newegg. It wanted nothing less than to extract a patent tax from the entire retail sector, using three patents it claimed covered pretty much any use of "shopping cart" technology.
Soverain isn't in the e-commerce business; it's in the higher-margin business of filing patent lawsuits against e-commerce companies. And it's been quite successful until now. The company's plan to extract a patent tax of about one percent of revenue from a huge swath of online retailers was snuffed out last week by Newegg and its lawyers, who won an appeal ruling [PDF] that invalidates the three patents Soverain used to spark a vast patent war.
For Newegg's Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng, it's a huge validation of the strategy the company decided to pursue back in 2007: not to settle with patent trolls. Ever.
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, 'This is bull$#!+,'" said Cheng in an interview with Ars. "We saw that if we paid off this patent holder, we'd have to pay off every patent holder this same amount....
Just in our experience, we've been hit by companies that claim to own the drop-down menu, or a search box, or Web navigation. In fact, I think there's at least four that claim to 'own' some part of a search box.
The big problem, is with all the companies that cave in and settled. This money was used by Soverign to pay the lawyers to go after more victims. Sounds like an extortion racket to me.
Tim, owner of DeBrand Fine Chocolates .. served with this PanIP lawsuit back in early September '02 .. had to make a decision.
Pay them the $5000 they were asking for something I didnít think they had a right to,
or Fight Back!