SALT LAKE CITY, July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK) today joined a broad-based, cross section of industry associations in calling for immediate patent litigation reforms to halt the national scourge of "patent troll" lawsuits.
"Annually these suits, masquerading as legitimate patent infringement cases, siphon billions into the pockets of clever shell companies set up to assert frivolous lawsuits in the hopes that targeted companies will pay off the trolls rather than pay the costs to fight," said Jonathan Johnson, executive vice chairman and former general counsel of Overstock.com. "These lawyer-driven troll entities do not contribute to the economy and have too long exploited the legal system. It is time for change," Johnson said.
Yesterday, 50 trade associations, representing thousands of companies throughout the United States, sent a letter to the Congressional leadership of both houses, calling for reform. The letter noted that over $29 billion are lost annually to patent troll suits. The letter also stated that President Obama has now joined the fight, urging a legislative fix. In recent months, members of both political parties have sponsored measures aimed at curbing these suits.
"We have long been a public voice in support of patent troll suit reform," said Patrick Byrne, chairman and CEO of Overstock.com. "We've earned a well-deserved reputation of fighting these spurious actions from patent troll squeegee boys. We'll fight through to jury verdicts that find non-infringement and invalidate patents rather than pay off these bullies."
In a recent case upheld on appeal, Overstock.com, and likeminded e-tailer NewEgg, litigated and won a verdict against French-based Alcatel-Lucent over three patents Alcatel wrongly asserted against the two companies. The jury verdict found no infringement and invalidated a key communications patent Alcatel-Lucent had successfully asserted against many internet companies, routinely extracting settlements where the costs of a legal defense seemed too steep for these companies to bear.
"Turns out, the jury agreed with us," said Johnson. "That patent never should have been issued in the first place."
In the letter to Congressional leadership, the 50 associations urged prompt action to make the assertion of troll suits more difficult and the associations pledged broad-based support for a bi-partisan effort to bring the reign of trolls to an abrupt end.
Overstock.com says a loud: "It's about time!"
Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) is an online discount retailer based in Salt Lake City, Utah that sells a broad range of products including furniture, rugs, bedding, electronics, clothing, jewelry and cars. Worldstock.com, a fair trade department dedicated to selling artisan-crafted products from around the world offers additional unique items. Main Street Revolution supports small businesses across the United States by providing them a national customer base. The Nielsen State of the Media: Consumer Usage Report placed Overstock.com among the top five most visited mass merchandiser websites in 2011. The NRF Foundation/American Express 2011 Customer Choice Awards ranked Overstock.com #4 in customer service among all U.S. retailers. Overstock.com sells internationally under the name O.co. Overstock.com (http://www.overstock.com and http://www.o.co) regularly posts information about the company and other related matters under Investor Relations on its website.
Overstock.com®, O.co®, Worldstock Fair Trade® and Club O Rewards® are registered trademarks of Overstock.com, Inc. O.info™, Club O™, Club O Dollars™ and Your Savings Engine™ are trademarks of Overstock.com, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include all statements other than statements of historical fact, including future litigation policy. Additional information regarding factors that could materially affect results and the accuracy of the forward-looking statements contained herein may be found in the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 which was filed with the SEC on April 25, 2013, and any subsequent filings with the SEC.
SOURCE Overstock.com, Inc.