In patent wars, it's seldom you see the bigger companies filing litigation claims at the aggressors. However, recent movement on this front has caused two patent trolls to have a change of heart, as both dropped patent infringement lawsuits against Overstock.com, a popular discount online shopper retailer.
So what did Overstock.com do to get the trolls to back down that other victims of litigation claims aren’t doing? Apparently, the only difference is that the company fought back. While Overstock.com has more means and legal budget to fight the likes of patent trolls, the company is crediting its wins on spending its legal budget in defense in abusive lawsuits and not on unjust settlements.
“Patent trolls find us unappetizing,” Mark Griffin, Overstock.com’s senior vice president and general counsel said. “While we have the highest respect for intellectual property rights, we don’t settle abusive patent suits — we fight.”
According to a recent Legal News line report, Griffin noted that the most recent plaintiff to dismiss first proposed a “no-money” settlement, but insisted on confidentiality to keep the walk-away quiet, which Overstock.com refused.
The first company, Execware LLC, is a holding company with a portfolio of seven software patents, all related to contextual data modeling. After Overstock.com redoubled its defense in the case, Execware contacted Overstock's lawyers and confirmed they had decided to dismiss the case. A stipulation of dismissal was filed in the Execware case March 7 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.
The other patent troll, Eclipse IP LLC, came to a similar conclusion and dismissed its case against Overstock.com just last month. Eclipse, a national intellectual property and business law-focused firm, filed an order of dismissal in the Eclipse case Feb. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Griffin said the company classifies Execware and Eclipse as patent trolls because of the “extortionate nature” of the suits they filed.