How Newegg Saved Online Retail

by Christopher Paul on January 30, 2013

Newegg, the larger online computer parts and electronics retailer, was featured at Ars Technica for standing up to and winning against a “patent troll” who claimed to own the IP to a shopping cart on the internet. Seriously.

For those who don’t know what a “patent troll” is, it’s a derogatory term for a company or individual who is thought to be a shell owner of a patent they often bought from some other company — often another shell company. The term isn’t a word of fact but it’s a common scenario seen. In this particular case, the owner of said patent sued Nordstrom, Macy’s, Home Depot, RadioShack, Kohls, Victoria’s Secret, and Avon. So it’s not just tech companies that are at risk for what amounts to a shakedown for settlement money.

There are a lot of people who believe intellectual property laws need to be fixed. And the article highlights, through the quotes of Newegg executives, other countries — who we compete with — don’t have these sorts of problems dragging time and money away from their core businesses.

It’s an encouraging read if you’ve been disheartened by the countless tales of someone being sued for IP infringement when they likely did nothing of the sort and are just victims of an extortion scheme.

And if I didn’t like Newegg for their prices and customer service already, I like them even more — not just because they stood up to and won against a patent troll — but for this gem of a quote from Chief Legal Officer, Lee Cheng, who says, “…they pop up and say “Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!” Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.”

And quote him, they did.

via Boing Boing

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