Electronics e-tailer Newegg has won a long-running legal battle against Soverain Software. On January 22, 2013, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued a unanimous ruling invalidating all patents that Soverain had asserted against Newegg, overturning the initial victory Soverain claimed at trial.
Soverain had sued Newegg among other e-commerce retailers in 2007, claiming that the defendants infringed three patents allegedly covering the online checkout process, including the online ‘shopping cart.’ While the other defendants settled with Soverain, Newegg took the case to trial. At trial, a jury awarded Soverain about 7% of the damages it sought.
Newegg appealed to the Federal Circuit, and the court concluded “that the prior art… by clear and convincing evidence, rendered obvious the ‘shopping cart’ claims… These claims are invalid.”
The Federal Circuit’s decision eliminate all damages awarded against Newegg, and also calls into question Soverain’s ability to collect $18 million in judgments won asserting the same patents against Avon and Victoria’s Secret last year. Likewise, nearly a dozen other lawsuits filed by Soverain in 2012 asserting the now-invalidated patents are also in question now.
[Image courtesy: Newegg]