Too few companies do what Newegg did and settle rather than go to court
Patent trolls, for all the attention paid to them, aren't going anywhere any time soon, for the time being and in the US at least, being a patent troll means good money. Money that can afford you to buy the best lawyers and money you can afford to spend on legal advice while the companies you're suing can't.Most companies sued by a troll choose to settle even if they know they didn't do anything wrong, it's simply the cheapest option and the safest.
Luckily, at least some companies, too few, choose to stick it out and fight the troll ‘till the end. That's what online retailer Newegg does and, thankfully, it has now won one of its biggest battles to date.
Newegg, like dozens of websites before it, was sued the patent troll Soverain over several patents relating to the online shopping cart.
Since absolutely every online store uses a shopping cart, the troll was able to target dozens of companies, including Amazon, and got them all to settle making tens of millions of dollars in the process.
Newegg didn't settle though, it went to court and even lost its first trial. On appeal though, not only did it win, it got all of the patents Soverain leveraged invalidated.
This means they can't be used against Newegg or any other company for that matter. It also means that those that settled previously may be able to go back on their deal.
It shows that fighting the "good" fight can work out in the end and should be an example for more companies. It probably won't, though.
The only reason patent trolls exist is because companies would rather pay than go to court, spending a huge amount of money on lawyers without the guarantee of winning. But this strategy of paying off trolls only means more will come asking for money.