Retail chain Eddie Bauer is best known for stylish and warm clothing. If you want a snazzy quarter-zip fleece or a hip Oslo crewneck sweater, then you can pop by the company’s website and shop to your heart’s content. Eddie Bauer, then, would seem to be the last company one would expect to get into a heated battle with patent trolls who, traditionally, have targeted hi-tech businesses. But even the company’s most expensive jackets cannot protect it from attacks by patent assertion entities.
Recently, however, patent trolls have gotten more brazen and aggressive. They are going after companies in the retail and hospitality spaces, asserting that these companies’ websites are built on technologies that infringe on existing patents. A spokeswoman for Eddie Bauer told The Washington Times that the retailer has received “a number of threats of litigation and been the target of lawsuits by patent-assertion entities” for violating what she called “vague ecommerce-related patents.”