News Highlights

Soverain's Statement on Supreme Court Decision

Jan 13, 2014

Soverain issued a statement today regarding the Supreme Court's decision in the Soverain v. Newegg case, saying in part: "We are at a critical juncture, with public debate regarding patents and innovation permeating headlines, reports, and Congressional hearings. Until the Federal Circuit's contrary decision, our patents had been repeatedly validated by the courts, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and the market. We were counting on the Supreme Court to reset the balance."

Supreme Court Refuses Soverain v. Newegg

Jan 13, 2014 | IPWatchdog

IPWatchdog offers a thoughtful, seven-point commentary on the outcome of the Soverain v. Newegg case, concluding "Sadly, today if [Thomas] Edison were alive, the popular press, a large percentage of high-tech CEOs, most in the federal judiciary and many in Congress would vilify Edison as a patent troll. How the times have changed!"

Open Market Says It Will Receive Patents for Internet-Commerce Software; Patents Lift Open Market As Observers Guess Their Worth

Mar 2 and 4, 1998 | The Wall Street Journal

This pair of Wall Street Journal articles dating from 1998 when Soverain's (then, Open Market's) patents first issued are both informative and prescient, discussing the considerable value of these patents while speculating on the difficulty that Open Market would have in protecting its software business against much larger competitors in light of the cost and risk of patent litigation.


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Does Fighting Back Work, Or Is The Patent System Simply Broken?

Jan 20, 2014 | Forbes

In an op-ed for Forbes, Alexander Brown, a partner and co-chair of the Tripp Scott law firm IP practice, writes about the Soverain v. Newegg case and questions whether the CAFC has taken the de novo standard of review too far. "The cost of litigation will now rise even more, and the risk/reward analysis of obtaining patents may be closer than ever before in deterring innovation—if you can’t afford to enforce your patent, why innovate?"

It’s All a Game to Newegg’s Lee Cheng

Jan 15, 2014 | IPWatchdog

IPWatchdog’s Gene Quinn provides an exposé of Newegg’s General Counsel’s bizarre and offensive rantings following the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Soverain v. Newegg case, concluding "Who is this guy Cheng and how did someone so crass and uninformed rise to such a high level in Newegg?"

Soverain's Statement on Supreme Court Decision

Jan 13, 2014

Soverain issued a statement today regarding the Supreme Court's decision in the Soverain v. Newegg case, saying in part: "We are at a critical juncture, with public debate regarding patents and innovation permeating headlines, reports, and Congressional hearings. Until the Federal Circuit's contrary decision, our patents had been repeatedly validated by the courts, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and the market. We were counting on the Supreme Court to reset the balance."

Supreme Court Refuses Soverain v. Newegg

Jan 13, 2014 | IPWatchdog

IPWatchdog offers a thoughtful, seven-point commentary on the outcome of the Soverain v. Newegg case, concluding "Sadly, today if [Thomas] Edison were alive, the popular press, a large percentage of high-tech CEOs, most in the federal judiciary and many in Congress would vilify Edison as a patent troll. How the times have changed!"

A Big Day at the Supreme Court for Patent Case Watchers

Jan 10, 2014 | Managing Intellectual Property

The Soverain v. Newegg cert petition is prominently highlighted by Managing Intellectual Property in this article about the seven patent cases to be addressed by the Supreme Court at its certiorari conference today.

Seventh Amendment is at Stake in Soverain v. Newegg

Jan 8, 2014 | PRNewswire

Soverain today confirmed widespread industry support for its certiorari petition in Soverain v. Newegg, and also said "Soverain's case matters because it is about the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial for patents which invented the way online business is done."

Who is a Patent Troll?

Jan 7, 2014 | IPWatchdog

Gene Quinn, whose IPWatchdog blog has once again achieved #1 IP blog status, wrote this strong article debunking the "troll" rhetoric. The article notes that Soverain has been inaccurately vilified, and says about the Soverain v. Newegg cert petition: "This case is not your ordinary obviousness dispute. The Supreme Court should take this case."

2 Fed. Cir. Rulings Will Impact PTAB Appeals in 2014

Jan 6, 2014 | Law360 (sub. req'd)

This Law360 article by Scott McKeown, a partner at IP firm Oblon Spivak, discusses the impact of Soverain v. Newegg on the anticipated surge in appeals from the USPTO to the Federal Circuit resulting from the new AIA post-grant challenges, saying that a grant of cert by SCOTUS “will undoubtedly provide importance guidance for PTAB appellate practice.”

Petition of the Day: Soverain v. Newegg

Jan 6, 2014 | SCOTUSblog

The Soverain v. Newegg case was selected as "Petition of the Day" by SCOTUSblog and is docketed for consideration at the Supreme Court's January 10, 2014 certiorari conference.

Soverain v. Newegg Added to Hal Wegner’s Top Ten Patent Cases

Jan 6, 2014 | Hal Wegner’s Top Ten Patent Cases

The Soverain v. Newegg case was added today to Hal Wegner’s Top Ten Patent Cases list. Hal complimented WilmerHale's "well-crafted petition" which raises the issue of obviousness in the context of the right to a jury trial. Professor Hal Wegner, a partner at Foley & Lardner and former director of the Intellectual Property Law Program at the George Washington University Law School, writes extensively on patent law matters.

Why Don't Companies With Huge Compliance Departments Have Anyone Looking at Patents?

Jan 5, 2014 | Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine

In an exclusive opinion piece for IAM Magazine, i4i LP Chairman Loudon Owen discusses the profound dangers to the future of American innovation due to diminishing patent rights and the "efficient infringement" of large companies. i4i sees the CAFC's ruling in Soverain v. Newegg as symptomatic of these dangers and submitted an amicus brief urging the Court to accept certiorari.

The Next Supreme Court Cases to Shape Patent Law

Jan 1, 2014 | Law360 (sub. req'd)

This Law360 opinion piece highlights the Soverain v. Newegg case as presenting an opportunity for the Supreme Court to clarify whether obviousness can be decided as a pure question of law even when there are unresolved factual disputes.

Petitions to Watch | Conference of January 10

Dec 31, 2013 | SCOTUSblog

SCOTUSblog spotlights certiorari petitions raising issues which Publisher and Supreme Court practitioner Tom Goldstein has determined have a reasonable chance of being granted. This edition notes the Soverain v. Newegg case, along with three of the seven patent cases to be considered at the Court's January 10, 2014 certiorari conference.

Inventor Explains Why "The CAFC Got It Wrong in Soverain v. Newegg"

Dec 30, 2013 | IPWatchdog

Dr. Lawrence Stewart, one of the patents' inventors, explains in detail in IPWatchdog how the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit failed to comprehend the technical issues when it invalidated three patents as being obvious in light of a Compuserve system running on dumb terminals. Surprise ending!

The '314 Patent Source Code, As Submitted to USPTO in 1994

Dec 30, 2013 | Soverain website

The '314 patent application included a microfiche of the source code for Open Market's initial Internet commerce software when the application was submitted to the USPTO in 1994, demonstrating the extensive disclosure that Open Market and our inventors provided.

A Machine-Readable Copy of the '314 Patent Source Code, As Submitted to USPTO in 1994

Dec 30, 2013 | GitHub

The '314 patent's inventors are the sort of engineers who are reluctant to delete anything, so still have the source code from Open Market. They've pulled out the versions which correspond to the software source code originally submitted to the USPTO in 1994 and created a repository on GitHub for anyone who's interested.

Open Market, 314, and Obviousness

Dec 30, 2013 | Copyfight

In his article on Copyfight, Dr. Alan Wexelblat says in part: "The 314 patent is a venerable piece of work. Unlike many of today's software patents, the 314 application included the entire source code and after multiple re-examinations the patent has hundreds of prior art citations. If more software patents were held to that level of rigor we'd have a lot fewer problems, in my opinion."

Will the Supreme Court Accept Soverain v. Newegg?

Dec 30, 2013 | Patent Law Practice Center

This article in Patent Law Practice Center explains why Soverain v. Newegg is an important case that merits Supreme Court review and is necessary to squelch the recent trend of courts improperly deciding factual disputes as a precursor to invalidating patents.

Newegg's Baseless Attack on Patent System Merely a Diversionary Tactic

Dec 23, 2013 | PRNewswire

Soverain responded today to Newegg’s belated press release, saying in part: "Despite the many mischaracterizations presented by our opponents, the truth is that Chief Judge Leonard Davis, a federal jury in another case, and the Patent Office – on two separate occasions – agreed with Soverain and confirmed the validity of our patents. What happened at the Federal Circuit is not proper legal process and we are confident that not only Soverain but also the law itself will prevail over this baseless assault by Newegg."

CAFC Defies SCOTUS and Violates Constitution

Dec 20, 2013 | PRNewswire

Soverain announced today that it filed a reply brief in its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the patent case against Newegg. Soverain's brief explains that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) violated the Supreme Court's longstanding precedent and the Seventh Amendment.

Why CEOs Should Be Worried About Patents Based on Software

Dec 15, 2013 | CEO Briefing Newsletter

In this oped for CEO Briefing Newsletter, Soverain President Katharine Wolanyk discusses the Soverain v. Newegg case in the context of the legal turmoil surrounding software and technology patents, saying “the law hasn’t kept up with the digital age and companies can suffer as a result, with their most valuable assets in patents suddenly being declared worthless.”

Soverain v. Newegg: Not an Ordinary Obviousness Dispute

Dec 12, 2013 | IPWatchdog

Patent attorney Gene Quinn analyzes the Soverain v. Newegg case in IPWatchdog, noting the aberration of the CAFC invalidating patents when Newegg sought only a remand, as well as other striking aspects of this case which continues the recent trend of eroding patent rights.

Importance of Soverain v. Newegg Case Confirmed

Dec 12, 2013 | PRNewswire

In Soverain's comments about Newegg's opposition brief, Seth Waxman, Soverain's lead counsel, said "Newegg is taking this case seriously and so should the Supreme Court. Newegg's attempt to reargue the facts only confirms that this case should have gone to the jury. The judicial overreach that occurred in this case is not an isolated incident, but rather the acceleration of a trend in the Court of Appeals that presents a broader threat to all who rely on the stability and predictability of the patent system."

Hailed as a Hero, "Anti-Troll" Company Newegg May, in Fact, Just Like Infringing Patents

Dec 10, 2013 | Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine

In an exclusive interview with Soverain President Katharine Wolanyk, IAM Magazine discusses the story of Soverain's patents, software business and petition to the Supreme Court in the context of the broader patent debate currently underway in the courts, Congress and public opinion.

Supreme Court: The Right To A Jury Trial On Obviousness

Dec 10, 2013 | Patently-O

In Patently-O, Law Professor Dennis Crouch analyzes the legal issues in Soverain's certiorari petition with a focus on the Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial in patent cases.

Soverain Receives Strong Amicus Support

Nov 26, 2013 | PRNewswire

Soverain announced today that it has received strong amicus support for its certiorari petition in Soverain v. Newegg, with amicus briefs filed by fellow technology firm i4i LP, prominent law professors and IP-driven public venture bank MDB Capital.

Follow-up Letter To Chairman Goodlatte

Nov 26, 2013 | Published letter

In this publicly-published letter, Soverain's President, Katharine Wolanyk, continued her correspondence with U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, seeking to correct the public record of inaccurate statements relating to Soverain's business and patents.

Patent System Under Attack

Nov 22, 2013 | IPWatchdog

In his oped in IPWatchdog, i4i Chairman Loudon Owen discusses how the CAFC's overreaching decision in Soverain v. Newegg harms the patent system as well as contradicts the Supreme Court's decision in i4i v. Microsoft affirming that invalidity must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

Soverain Ruling Threatens Patent System, High Court Told

Nov 20, 2013 | Law360 (sub. req'd)

This Law360 article reports on the amicus brief i4i LP filed in support of Soverain's certiorari petition, highlighting i4i's arguments that the CAFC's ruling "eviscerates" the Supreme Court's ruling in i4i v. Microsoft and adds unnecessary uncertainty to the litigation process.

Supreme Court Must Reverse Federal Circuit Ruling, Says i4i Chairman

Nov 19, 2013 | PRWeb

i4i Limited Partnership announced today that it filed an amicus brief in support of fellow technology company Soverain Software's certiorari petition to the Supreme Court in Soverain v. Newegg. i4i's brief warns of the severe consequences if the CAFC's decision stands.

Soverain President Katharine Wolanyk Writes to Chairman Goodlatte

Nov 18, 2013 | Published letter

In this publicly-published letter, Soverain's President Katharine Wolanyk responds to inaccurate statements about Soverain's business and patents made by U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte as he announced his bill H.R. 3309.

Statement of Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte on H.R. 3309

Oct 29, 2013 | Judiciary Committee Press Release

In a statement released today regarding H.R. 3309, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte criticized 'abusive patent suits' that "claim ownership over basic ideas" such as "using a ‘shopping cart’ on your website." These remarks also alluded to, among other things, "weak or poorly-granted patents" and "litigation extortion and frivolous claims." These comments were widely reported and Soverain responded to correct the record in letters on November 18 and 26, 2013 (see above).

Waxman Asks SCOTUS to Rein in Federal Circuit in Newegg case

Oct 23, 2013 | American Lawyer (sub. req'd)

In American Lawyer, Seth Waxman, former U.S. Solicitor General, a veteran of 65 Supreme Court oral arguments and Soverain's lead counsel at WilmerHale, said that the division of authority between judges and juries is hugely important. "And it's important for the Supreme Court, which has a renewed and avid interest in broad questions of patent law, to hear the case because it focuses on the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate for the court to treat obviousness as a pure question of law," he said.

Soverain Petitions for Supreme Court Review in Newegg case

Oct 17, 2013 | PRNewswire

Soverain announced today that it filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in Soverain v. Newegg, case no. 13-477. The appeal is from a decision of the patent appeals court (CAFC) improperly invalidating patents which had been separately found valid in two federal trials and twice by the U.S. Patent Office in reexaminations.

Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation

June 4, 2013 | The Executive Office of the President

In its high-profile report, the Executive Office of the President sharply criticized "non-practicing" patent assertion entities and software patents, citing studies the accuracy of which has been widely questioned. The report also inaccurately skewered Soverain, declaring its patents "obvious" and "ultimately" invalidated, (see footnote 2 and related text) despite the fact that Soverain's appeal was still pending before the CAFC.

Open Market Says It Will Receive Patents for Internet-Commerce Software; Patents Lift Open Market As Observers Guess Their Worth

Mar 2 and 4, 1998 | The Wall Street Journal

This pair of Wall Street Journal articles dating from 1998 when Soverain's (then, Open Market's) patents first issued are both informative and prescient, discussing the considerable value of these patents while speculating on the difficulty that Open Market would have in protecting its software business against much larger competitors in light of the cost and risk of patent litigation.