Good show!

Story: How Newegg crushed the - shopping cart - patent and saved online retailTotal Replies: 11
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Jan 28, 2013
11:02 AM EDT
Oh my.... jolly good show, guv'ner!

About time someone stood up to these dirtbag shysters instead of taking the easy way out by simply buying them off. Perhaps a trend that will influence more judges to quit shilling for the legal profession. It's a crying shame the institution most responsible for defending our freedoms is also the one with the most shame and scorn heaped upon it because of some of it's more blatantly nefarious practitioners.

Thank you Mr Cheng and Mr Chang for having the --what's Chinese for cojones?-- to stand up to these dirtbags. Now if Newegg would only lose that greedy 15% restocking fee, I might actually shop there! Otherwise, I'll go with TigerDirect. ;)

Jan 28, 2013
12:22 PM EDT
Amazing how many companies don't understand the simple truth of NewEgg's policy: convient settlements add up -- and they encourage more people to come after you.

Some businesses are natural targets for predatory suits. The only way to fend them off is to convince potential plaintiffs that they will spend a lot of money for nothing.

This was even better -- not only did Soverain spend a lot of money for nothing, it lost it's questionable assets in the process. No patents, no leverage.

Woo-hoo for New Egg, and an additional woo-hoo to the USSC for putting the kibash on nearly-automatic patent infringement injunctions.

Jan 28, 2013
12:22 PM EDT
I think the whole copyright issue could be resolved by making the length of a copyright shorter.

For example make it valid for 2 years. Once something has copyright against it then the same copyright cannot be requiested again. This gives the inventor 2 years to extract license fees from people wishing to use the technology or if it is a product (say an IPhone) that incorporates the feature it gives the product a chance to have 2 years as a sole product that has that feature.

If the feature is any good then the company who produced it will more than have made their money back for R&D, which is basically why copyright exists. After the two years anyone should be able to use the technology free of charge.

Human beings have stopped developing at the rate we should because we are now too tied up in legal cases instead of sharing and helping each other.


Jan 28, 2013
12:27 PM EDT
@gary --

1. This was a patent case, not copyright

2. A 2 year recovery period won't work for many things. If you think new drugs are expensive now, imagine that R&D costs had to be recovered in 2 years instead of 20. Holy kaboley! I imagine lots of serious conditions that afflict relatively small populations would go ignored.

3. A good question, however, is whether patents are appropriate for software ( I think patent is a better fit than copyright) and, if so, whether all patents should be equal. Why not have a short patent for software? Development costs are nowhere near what they are for medicine, jet engines, etc.

Jan 28, 2013
1:38 PM EDT
I told a coworker about this. When I started saying what the patent troll was trying to do, he said, "I would hire a hitman, take them out."

It occurred to me, it's funny that that hasn't happened already.

Bravo NewEgg. Well done.

Jan 28, 2013
2:37 PM EDT
Nuke em from orbit its the only way to be sure :)

Jan 28, 2013
5:31 PM EDT

Copyright, patents, trademarks. They are all part of the same structure as far as I can tell. In essence they are all done for the right reasons but as usual abused by complete and utter goits.

I agree that 2 years isn't appropriate for everything, especially R&D for new drugs. I was thinking more along the lines of software when I suggested 2 years.

I do have something to say about the cost of new drugs however. how much money is given in donations by the general public to good causes like cancer research. How much of that money is spent researching new drugs. Then a company comes up with the new drug and sells it back to the people that donated towards it. In the UK the NHS doesn't allow all patients to take medicines that aid with cancer because it is prohibitively expensive and only extends a life by a few months. Whilst economically I can understand this, if we are paying for the research into drugs by donating to charities such as Cancer Research how is it that the drugs that are created are priced out of the market for us to use?


I like the Hitman approach. That would solve a lot of issues. Maybe we can use the same hitman for payment protection insurance chasers and ambulance chasing solicitors and payday lending companies etc.


Jan 28, 2013
7:24 PM EDT
@gary -

It is, frankly, a scandal that companies can take government money for their research and still patent the resulting drug.

OTOH, new drugs are incredibly expensive to produce when you consider the R&D protocols, the number that don't turn out to be worth a damn, and the liability insurance to protect against side effects that didn't show up in testing.

Jan 28, 2013
7:28 PM EDT
Sort of good news.
Quoting: Ars: Why is Newegg able to pursue this strategy where other companies feel they shouldn't or can't?

Cheng: We're majority-controlled by an extremely principled guy, our founder [Newegg CEO Fred Chang]. We have always been willing to sacrifice tactical gain for strategic success. We're successful because, since 2001, we have taken really good care of our customers.

Newegg had more freedom to "do what's right" and to "think long-term" because they are essentially a private company, with a strong CEO, not having to worry about boards and/or stockholder expectations.

This isn't to belittle their philosophical stance, as Mr Cheng also explained
Quoting: And we'll take a case through trial as a matter of principle because we want to accomplish the purpose of making good law. Like eBay did, like Quanta did when they challenged LG. It's part of our duty as a good corporate citizen to try to accelerate the rationalization of patent law.

But it's still going to take a lot more time and effort to straighten the patent mess out.

Jan 28, 2013
7:57 PM EDT
And I found this part rather enlightening...

Quoting: 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.

Drop-down menus? Seriously? And Search box -- "at least" FOUR? You've got to be kidding me!

Almost puts "bounce back" and "long file names" in a good light, don't it?


Jan 29, 2013
11:19 AM EDT
Gary, did you ever read Assassination Politics by Jim Bell?

The crap he got after writing that essay is astounding. His experiences, and Phil Zimmerman after he wrote PGP, should be required reading for all wanna-be counter-culture activists.

Jan 29, 2013
12:30 PM EDT
Is the patent troll now liable for paying back all the companies they extorted money from thus far?

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