As patent reform moved into the political spotlight during the last Congress, one patent that kept coming up was the “online shopping cart.” It seemed to resonate as a technology that clearly shouldn’t have been patented.
By the time it started being brought up in Congressional hearings, though, the shopping cart patent was dead. Its owner, Soverain Software, was beaten when computer retailer Newegg won an appellate ruling invalidating its patents and throwing out the $2.5 million jury verdict against it.
That ruling also wiped out Soverain’s biggest win: a 2011 verdict against Avon and Victoria’s Secret, in which the companies were ordered to pay almost $18 million and a “running royalty” of about 1 percent, for infringing the same patents.
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