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Newegg and Overstock defeat Alcatel in e-commerce patent appeal

The Federal Circuit has upheld a lower court’s decision to invalidate three patents belonging to telecoms equipment provider Alcatel Lucent, covering basic e-commerce functions used by almost every shopping site

Alcatel had claimed that shopping websites Newegg and Overstock infringed the patents, which covered functions including rescaling a website as the user resizes the browser window.

In 2011, Alcatel sued Newegg and Overstock, along with other companies including Amazon, Intuit, Kmart, Lands’ End, QVC, Sears and Zappos. All the defendants except Newegg and Overstock settled before the trial.

Newegg and Overstock fought the lawsuit, and a jury in the Eastern District of Texas ruled the patents were invalid.

Alcatel Lucent appealed, but on Wednesday the Federal Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision on Alcatel-Lucent v Overstock and Newegg without comment.

Newegg’s chief legal officer, Lee Cheng, issued a statement which said: “To date, we have invalidated four e-commerce patents that have been used to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in protection money. We believe that fighting patent trolls is the right thing to do. Our customers, at least, don’t have to subsidize costs to trolls.”

Newegg was represented in the appeal by a team led by Ed Reines of Weil Gotshal & Manges, Overstock was represented by Bracewell & Giuliani and Alcatel was represented by Mark Fleming of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

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