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E-Retail Giants Win Lawsuit

Infringement case over search technology is ruled invalid.

A patent infringement claim involving the search technology used by many e-retail giants, including Amazon and eBay, has been ruled invalid.

Kelora Systems LLC filed the suit almost two years ago, claiming infringement of its faceted site-search software that allows users to narrow their search results by product characteristics, such as brand, color and price.

The California federal district judge, Claudia Wilken, declared that the retailers were not infringing on the patent, and dismissed the lawsuit. Wilken also ruled that the defendants may reclaim their legal fees from the plaintiff.

The suit targeted some of the Internet’s top retailers, including Amazon, Costco Wholesale, Dell, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Newegg, Office Depot, Target and Zappos. Kelora continues to sign patent licensing agreements with other retailers who use its software.

Lee Cheng, general counsel at Newegg, says the ruling will warn other patent holders who want to sue Web retailers with “frivolous lawsuits.”

The former owner of Kelora’s patent, PartsRiver Inc., had filed a similar suit shortly before Kelora took control.

About the author

Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown is a freelance writer who writes about e-commerce and small businesses. She recently graduated from Chico State with a journalism degree and is also a budding online entrepreneur, having launched two Web businesses and her own line of handmade products. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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