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Dell (Sort Of) Wins E-Commerce Lawsuit

Doug Caverly
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-24

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Dell has won an important victory over DE Technologies, a Virginia firm that holds a patent so broad it could cover all e-commerce. A federal district judge declared parts of the patent as too "indefinite" and approved some measures of Dell's request to have it rendered invalid.

A victory for DE Technologies could have exposed any (or all) businesses that sell products over the Web to possible lawsuits. The patent in question told of a "transaction system for facilitating computer-to-computer commercial transactions by integrating certain functions to enable international purchases of goods over Internet."

The company identifies this as its "Borderless Order Entry System," and was originally granted the patent in 2002, five years after filing for its application. Dell was accused of infringing on the patent in 2004.

Analysts had predicted that a court loss for Dell might have dire financial results for the company. The case is not completely resolved, though-the judge has only granted a "partial summary judgment." According to TheFreeDictionary, this is "a court order ruling that no factual issues remain to be tried and therefore a cause of action . . . in a complaint can be decided upon certain facts without trial."

This leaves "some causes of action" left to be decided. And TheFreeDictionary also notes that "pleading procedures are extremely technical and complicated, and are particularly dangerous to the party against whom the motion is made"-in this case, Dell.

Dell seems to have won the day, though, and perhaps spared a lot of other businesses the same trouble.

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About the Author:
Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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