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Sellers Face Legal Threat over Tracking Packages

A Florida company has sued over 150 companies over the ability to click a link and track packages during shipping, according to Bloomberg BNA.

Shipping and Transit LLC owns patents related to monitoring vehicles’ movement and has filed infringement lawsuits against the likes of Edible Arrangements, Wayfair, and Shutterfly. Bloomberg noted that Amazon and Newegg were absent from the list of alleged infringers, and noted, “Newegg is renowned for fighting these kinds of lawsuits.”

Bloomberg analyzed records and found the majority of defendants settle with the company. “Court dockets list more than two-thirds of the infringement cases brought by Shipping and Transit as either settled or voluntarily dismissed.” The article explains why that’s the case.

The patent-holder has assigned patents over the years to various companies he’s operated, including Luxembourg-registered ArrivalStar, which reached licensing agreements UPS and FedEx after suing them both in 2007, Bloomberg said.

But things are more complicated when it comes to USPS.

Bloomberg said, “Although the licensing agreements with UPS and FedEx included both patent groups, effectively shielding websites that use FedEx or UPS from future patent litigation, users of the Postal Service’s tracker may still be liable for infringement in the pending complaints.”

Bloomberg presents a fascinating and detailed look at the case and why many companies choose to settle, what actions states are taking, and the issue of patent enforcement in general in, “Online Retailers Face Patent Suits Over Package Tracking” (link to article on BNA.com).

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.