Scrambled Eggs Served
May 16, 2013 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Newegg, who previously fought to free the online shopping cart wins another patent case on appeal together with against Alcatel.

This time Alcatel used a patent bombing model using thousands of patents acquired from Lucent to sue companies, hoping for settlements rather than trials. This particular appeal ruled that the defendants did not infringe on a software patent that allows computers to adapt web sites to display properly on specific screen sizes (invalidated as obvious). During the appeal, one representative couldn't even identify which patents they were suing the defendants for.

Alcatel also lost out to Apple and LG in December 2012 for patents covering video-compression technology that allows data to be sent more efficiently over communications media, including the Internet and satellites, or stored on DVDs and Blu-Ray disks.
posted by juiceCake (21 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Newegg just won my business forever.
posted by gwint at 7:52 AM on May 16, 2013 [8 favorites]

I have a sudden urge to buy some electronics.
posted by aramaic at 7:56 AM on May 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

I love Newegg, and am very glad to have been using them for so long. I like it when companies that do right by their customers(in as far as I've experienced) have such victories. Give me a sense of justice in the world.
posted by Twain Device at 7:57 AM on May 16, 2013

These Alcatel-Lucent patents are ones that came from the original Bell labs, the hotbed of American innovation. To see them reduced to part of a patent troll's portfolio is ... just sad.
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:58 AM on May 16, 2013 [18 favorites]

America! Spending every day finding new ways to make money without actually producing anything useful.
posted by Legomancer at 8:13 AM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

(Alcatel is French)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:17 AM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Whoa, I had no idea the idea of a responsive web design was in court, but thank jeebus the judge called it obvious.
posted by mathowie at 8:31 AM on May 16, 2013

Just want to clarify one thing. The Ars Technica article makes it sound extraordinary that the Federal Circuit summarily affirmed the lower court in one week. Not so -- it happens all the time. If the appeals court doesn't perceive any reversible error in the district court, and doesn't think there are any particularly interesting or thorny or novel issues presented by the case, a summary affirmance will often quickly follow.

Still, though, hurrah.
posted by eugenen at 8:44 AM on May 16, 2013

Newegg is best egg!
posted by dirigibleman at 9:22 AM on May 16, 2013

Alcatel is French

Yep. France has a rather black-and-white, good-guy, bad-guy thing going as far as telecoms and telecoms-related tech are concerned. A lot of the big players do price fixing that's so obvious it hurts (and has been proven time and again in court), as well as other shady stuff, while there are then Robin Hood types taking legal action (thus the proven price fixing), innovating with open-source materials, etc. Alcatel is one of the former, goes without saying.
posted by fraula at 9:45 AM on May 16, 2013

ROU_Xenophobe: (Alcatel is French)
The court case and patent claims were in American.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:54 AM on May 16, 2013

As long as they're doing this, I wish Newegg would spend a bit of money to update their own website. It's silly that I still can't change to a different form of tender (e.g., change of credit card numbers) for anything that I have pre-ordered at Newegg without canceling and placing the order again.
posted by longdaysjourney at 10:03 AM on May 16, 2013

The court case and patent claims were in American.
posted by juiceCake at 10:28 AM on May 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Newegg / Overstock are the first place I'll search for anything online.

posted by hank at 10:32 AM on May 16, 2013

I was with the old Newegg, before they were stupendous.
posted by uraniumwilly at 10:40 AM on May 16, 2013

These Alcatel-Lucent patents are ones that came from the original Bell labs, the hotbed of American innovation. To see them reduced to part of a patent troll's portfolio is ... just sad.

I worked a few days on that site as a contractor years ago, right about when all the old Lucent logos had just been covered over with cheap "Alcatel / Lucent" vinyl banners. I had to wait quite some time in the lobby as my contact made his way from the depths of the building to badge me in, so meanwhile I examined the museum. There were five nobel prize medallions on display, of which one was sitting next to the transistor. Later it turned out that I'd be working in the same room it had been built in, but not knowing this I just sat on the floor and communed with it through the display glass for several minutes.

This story, of course, adds nothing to the thread, nor to what RedOrGreen said. It's fucking sad.
posted by 7segment at 11:32 AM on May 16, 2013 [9 favorites]

Oh, the other cool thing about that building is there's a bust of Claude Shannon in it that's about twice as large as the one of Bell. In case anyone was wondering.
posted by 7segment at 11:36 AM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

Now I'm glad I just bought my new laptop from Newegg.
posted by happyroach at 11:38 AM on May 16, 2013

Downside: Overstock can continue to afford its ridiculous name for the Oakland Coliseum.
posted by clorox at 2:26 PM on May 16, 2013

These days it is so rare when I hear anything good about the big corporations I buy things from that this makes me feel great.
A company in the news for doing things right instead of secretly screwing everyone over for years? I can get down with that.
posted by rmless at 3:16 PM on May 16, 2013

Here again is a link to Ars's interview with Newegg's lawyer in case anybody missed it the first time around.
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.

It's actually surprising how quickly people forget what Lemelson did. [referring to Jerome Lemelson, an infamous patent troll who used so-called "submarine patents" to make billions in licensing fees.] This activity is very similar. Trolls right now "submarine" as well. They use timing, like he used timing.

Then 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.
OH yes.
posted by flabdablet at 8:25 PM on May 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

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