Hooray! Newegg Defeats a Patent Troll.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


From Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng, on why they went to court over a patent on the “shopping cart” feature of their e-commerce site:

We basically took a look at this situation and said, “This is bullshit.”

I’d say that this pithy comment is both legally and technically precise. And good for Newegg for fighting this out to the bitter end. Amazon and other e-retailers had already caved in to the patent troll who was extorting them over this. Also: good for the appellate judge who ruled that the patents in question were invalid on grounds of obviousness.

My only regret is that Newegg was forced to rely for its defense on the fact that CompuServe had some prior art for something called the “CompuServe Mall.” That shouldn’t have been necessary. This case should have been thrown out with extreme prejudice no matter who had done what before. There are just a limited number of ways of doing stuff like this, and a combination of product IDs, database entries, and cryptography hardly counts as an inspired invention.

This whole thing was ridiculous but, unfortunately, all too typical. It’s a perfect example of why it’s time to ditch software patents completely.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate