PLANO, Texas (Legal Newsline) - A Texas-based company that was tagged the most prolific patent “troll” in 2014 has filed a string of patent infringement lawsuits in recent weeks.
The non-practicing entity, eDekka LLC, reportedly filed more than 100 patent lawsuits against retailers last year.
According to research done by Law360, eDekka brought a total of 130 lawsuits in 2014, more than double the amount filed by second-place Olivistar LLC.
And it doesn’t look like the company is slowing down so far this year.
According to a recent search of PACER, an online service that provides access to federal court documents, eDekka filed 20 or so lawsuits on April 24, another 20 or so lawsuits May 1, and another 20 or so lawsuits Friday. All were filed in the plaintiff-friendly U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
All of the complaints -- each six pages in length -- were filed against retailers alleging they are infringing on eDekka’s U.S. Patent No. 6,266,674 entitled “Random Access Information Retrieval Utilizing User-Defined Labels.”
Among the retailers: Destination Maternity, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Birchbox, Asics, Fathead, Groupon, Guess?, Hallmark, Hugo Boss, Forever 21, Mrs. Fields, MARS and Lucky Brands.
The company claims in its lawsuits that the retailers’ websites include a “shopping cart” function that infringes on its patent.
According to documents filed along with the complaints, the ‘674 patent was originally filed in March 1992 by Sunnyvale, Calif., inventor Donald J. Hejna Jr.
The patent, issued to eDekka in 2001, covers a method for utilizing user-defined labels to retrieve information. It does not appear, at first glance, to have anything to do with the Internet.
In looking at drawings attached to the complaints, it appears to be some sort of pager.
Neither a website nor a telephone number could be found for eDekka, only an address: 3400 Silverstone Drive, Suite 191, Plano, Texas 75023.
The company’s attorneys, Austin Hansley and Brandon LaPray of Dallas-based Austin Hansley PLLC, could not immediately be reached for comment on the filings.
The lawsuits are nearly identical to those filed against a separate group of retailers last year, including Amazon, American Girl, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Etsy, Sears, The Home Depot and more.
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, called eDekka a patent “troll” and said NPEs like them are a “scourge” on businesses across the United States and Main Street merchants.
“Patent trolls divert vital resources from retailers that could otherwise be use to invest and grow their business, further technological innovation and create jobs,” NRF Vice President Beth Provenzano said in a statement. “They are both an economic and innovation drain and need to be stopped.”
“That is why the National Retail Federation helped found United for Patent Reform to ensure that Congress pass comprehensive patent reform legislation to end the patent troll business model.”
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.