Adjustacam LLC collected settlements from dozens of webcam makers and sellers. (credit: Getty Images)
The largest publicly traded patent-holding company will have to pay online retailer Newegg $15,000 after bringing a frivolous appeal.
The order brings to a conclusion what was a once-classic example of sprawling “patent troll” litigation. In 2010, AdjustaCam LLC, a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp., filed suit (PDF) in Eastern Texas against dozens of companies, saying that they infringed US Patent No. 5,855,343, which describes a type of movable camera clip. The list of defendants included camera makers like Gear Head and Creative Labs, as well as retailers like Amazon, Newegg, K-Mart, Overstock.com, and Wal-Mart.
While many defendants settled with AdjustaCam, Newegg was headed toward a jury trial. When the district court considered the claims of AdjustaCam’s patent, though, it didn’t go well for the patent-holding company, which received an unfavorable claim construction order. With a jury trial upcoming in 2013, AdjustaCam simply dropped its case against Newegg and granted a “covenant not to sue.” (AdjustaCam is hardly the first “patent troll” to use this strategy.)
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