Judge Sides With eCommerce Merchants in Patent Dispute

Some of the biggest names in e-commerce – including Amazon,  eBay and Zappos – have persuaded a federal judge in Oakland to dismiss a patent infringement lawsuit filed by a company claiming to hold exclusive rights to search-filtering technology.

If you own an e-commerce website that uses a search filter, chances are you’ve heard of, or been contacted by, Kelora Systems LLC. Kelora aggressively tries to extract licensing fees by suing or threatening to sue business owners who purportedly infringe its patent.

The trouble, at least for Kelora, is that the patent didn’t hold up in court. In her 40-page ruling this week, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken found five of Kelora’s patent claims invalid and tossed the remaining infringement claims against Target, Amazon.com, Dell, Office Depot, Newegg, Costco Wholesale, Hewlett-Packard, Audible and Zappos.com.

“We were delighted that the court recognized that Kelora’s claims had no merit,” said Lee Cheng, general counsel for Newegg, a California-based online electronics retailer. “We believe that Kelora, like most patent trolls, was simply engaged in an effort to abuse the legal system to extract payments from e-commerce companies eager to avoid the cost of defense.” Read More