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Friday, 17 May 2013 09:13

Newegg routs Alcatel-Lucent troll

Written by Nick Farrell



You shall not pass

Alcatel-Lucent thought that it would take control of the US e-commerce industry with some rather clever trollage. The French telecom had sued eight big retailers and Intuit saying that their e-commerce operations infringed Alcatel patents. It had taken down Kmart, QVC, Lands' End, Intuit, Zappos, Sears, and Amazon also settled. However it appeared to meet its match with Newegg.

The company vowed not to ever settle with patent trolls and forced the case to go to court where Alcatel-Lucent found itself in trouble. Instead of convincing the East Texas jury to hand $12 million from Newegg the company got a verdict of non-infringement. And as for the one patent Alcatel had argued throughout trial was so key to modern e-commerce—US Patent No. 5,649,131 but the jury invalidated its claims.

East Texas was supposed to be a Patent Troll’s heaven as the courts often favour the trolls. Alcatel-Lucent went all-out on appeal and hired Wilmer Hale, the kind of top law firm that handles high-stakes appeals. To make it clear how much they lost by, Federal Circuit judges typically take months, and occasionally years, to review the patent appeals that come before them. The three-judge panel upheld Newegg's win without comment after thinking about it for three days.

Now there is talk about standing up to the trolls in the industry to stop this sort of thing happening.

Nick Farrell

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