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Kelora Systems's patent #821 "Guided Parametric Search" Rate Topic   - - - - -

 
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Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:00 AM #1

Hello,

Attention to CS-Cart users in the USA:

Recently, we have discovered that there was a U.S. patent No. 6275821, entitled "Method and system for executing a guided parametric search". According to this patent, guided parametric search is "a process for identifying a single item from a family of items presents a user with a feature screen having a series of groupings. Each grouping represents a feature having a set of alternatives from which to select. Selected alternatives are used as a selection criteria in a search operation. Results of the search operation is a revised feature screen indicating alternatives that remain available to the user for further selection and searching".

In other words, narrowing search results by a feature infringes this patent. Obviously, it is one of the most widespread function on ecommerce websites. In CS-Cart, it appears as the "Shopping options" side box:

shopping-options-in-cscart.png

The patent currently belongs to Kelora Systems, LLC, that hired a law firm to filing suits against US companies that uses their 'patented technology'. Many companies, including Microsoft, Adobe, eBay, etc, already have received a claim for money from Kelora Systems.

We are not a lawyer company and cannot give legal advices, but we recommend to consult a patent attorney in advance.

Here is the list of helpful links with the additional information about this situation. Pay attention to the first resource that says that on December 1, 2011 "the Federal courts will rule on the whether the patent is even valid".

www.security-camera-warehouse.com/blog/1757/kelora-and-patent-821-guided-parametric-search
womblefurniturelaw.blogspot.com/2011/02/nebraska-furniture-mart-make-preemptive.html
www.amazonsellercommunity.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=207339

Thank you for your attention.
Alex Vinokurov,
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Posted 09 November 2011 - 11:59 AM #2

How this can affect user who purchased out of the box shopping cart system?

 
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Posted 09 November 2011 - 12:32 PM #3

How this can affect user who purchased out of the box shopping cart system?

It doesn't, 'Kelora Systems' can serve you with a cease and desist order since you are using their patented technology. If you refuse, they could then pursue the matter through the courts, but ultimately it is Simbirsk/CS-Cart which has allegedly infringed upon Kelora's patent. Time will tell...
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Posted 09 November 2011 - 01:08 PM #4

It doesn't, 'Kelora Systems' can serve you with a cease and desist order since you are using their patented technology. If you refuse, they could then pursue the matter through the courts, but ultimately it is Simbirsk/CS-Cart which has allegedly infringed upon Kelora's patent. Time will tell...


So I am buying a tv set or a new pc, should i care if I'm breaking some patent?

'Kelora Systems' could run search in google for "powered by cs-cart" and open tons of law cases...

 
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Posted 09 November 2011 - 03:32 PM #5

So I am buying a tv set or a new pc, should i care if I'm breaking some patent?

'Kelora Systems' could run search in google for "powered by cs-cart" and open tons of law cases...

LOL...and the Kelora Systems website is "Powered by GoDaddy Website Tonight"...LOL, so they have money to go after the 5 million+ websites with search functionality but can't afford better hosting?...LOL
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Posted 10 November 2011 - 01:38 AM #6

I'd guess the real question I'd like to see answered here is whether cs-cart is going to release an update to existing cart versions (past and present) to remove an infringement of a patent they are now aware of? It's one thing to claim ignorance, it's quite another to disregard an infringement notification.

Obviously if the patent is invalidated on 12/1, then it's a non-issue.

I think it's great that they advise people here on the forum, but I'd like to know what their plan of action is...

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 08:54 AM #7

Could be that distribution of the product is not illegal and actually end user using it IS..= down to us boys not them. Same as Guns you can sell em ...but just dont pull the trigger to kill someone . :blink:

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:25 AM #8

LOL...and the Kelora Systems website is "Powered by GoDaddy Website Tonight"...LOL, so they have money to go after the 5 million+ websites with search functionality but can't afford better hosting?...LOL

If they win the patent case in court, any investment firm with the capital could quite easily come on board and subsidise the cost of suing various companies...high risk, but with very high returns.
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Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:03 PM #9

I'd guess the real question I'd like to see answered here is whether cs-cart is going to release an update to existing cart versions (past and present) to remove an infringement of a patent they are now aware of? It's one thing to claim ignorance, it's quite another to disregard an infringement notification.

Obviously if the patent is invalidated on 12/1, then it's a non-issue.

I think it's great that they advise people here on the forum, but I'd like to know what their plan of action is...


It's not something that works in the cart out of the box you have to create a product filter block for it to show so I don't see how that is really an issue. Plus from reading various threads this has a real good chance of getting invalidated as part of it has already been invalided but lower courts.
John
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Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:31 PM #10

It's not something that works in the cart out of the box you have to create a product filter block for it to show so I don't see how that is really an issue. Plus from reading various threads this has a real good chance of getting invalidated as part of it has already been invalided but lower courts.


https://www.cs-cart.com/features.html

Product filters

What if I picked cs-cart just for this feature and paid $295.

For example I purchased media player. Seller advised that player hardware is capable of playing DTS, DTS HD but this will be available only if future firmware due to licensing problems. How can you incorporate something in to product and leave it to some housewife sort things in court...

US is probably only country in world were you every second got a gun and you get it no questions asked..

 
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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:47 PM #11

I say: ignore till there is a problem. Come on, this is like having a copyright on the fabrication of a coffee mug. Or jeans.

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:54 PM #12

I received one of those letters regarding patent infringement from "Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP" and I quote from their multi-page letter "Kelora is willing to grant you - as it has granted others - a fully paid-up, non-exclusive, non-transferable license for $75,000."

Patents and law firms like this one incense me !

 
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Posted 10 November 2011 - 05:25 PM #13

Could be that distribution of the product is not illegal and actually end user using it IS..= down to us boys not them. Same as Guns you can sell em ...but just dont pull the trigger to kill someone .


There's the details and the law and then there's "the right thing to do".

Given that this was sent to US companies only, I'm assuming this patent is not acknowledged internationally. I must be mistaken when I assume that a patent filed in country X is to be honored by all other countries who have trade agreements with country X. Which for the US is most.

Holding a patent is one thing. Enforcing it is another.

I'm guessing none of us are patent lawyers so we're probably all just spouting our opinions.... Which as we know, everyone has one and most are different.

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:00 PM #14

I cant find any trace of em on company credit and info checks and also registered address is down to a rented office @ CA. Do any of you U.S. Guys know of them anyway? are they a big setup, do they turn over Millions etc etc

john

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:37 PM #15

I cant find any trace of em on company credit and info checks and also registered address is down to a rented office @ CA. Do any of you U.S. Guys know of them anyway? are they a big setup, do they turn over Millions etc etc

john


From the forums they are patent trolls. They don't have a lot of money which is why they are going after smaller stores right now in hopes that they don't have money for lawyers to fight them with and will just settle so they can gather the funds for the Microsoft's of the world.

What if I picked cs-cart just for this feature and paid $295..


If this patent is granted then you are SOL unless you want to license that functionality from them. That would go for any cart software so cs-cart is in no different situation than x-cart, Magento or any other cart vendor.
John
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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:47 PM #16

Just remember, that the assets of most on-line merchants (assuming they are LLC or Corp) are close to zero. I.e. their servers are leased, most don't carry enough inventory to count and most don't have brick-n-mortar operations. Hence no lawyer is going to spend billable hours to try and squeeze something out of a merchant that simply isn't there. Other than the $0.42 for the letter and the $0.10 in photo-copy costs, odds of them investing in filing suit or having an injunction issued are pretty slim. Especially if you just turn off the feature.

I have no idea whether the patent restricts having the code present or just using it....

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 07:27 PM #17

Just remember, that the assets of most on-line merchants (assuming they are LLC or Corp) are close to zero. I.e. their servers are leased, most don't carry enough inventory to count and most don't have brick-n-mortar operations. Hence no lawyer is going to spend billable hours to try and squeeze something out of a merchant that simply isn't there. Other than the $0.42 for the letter and the $0.10 in photo-copy costs, odds of them investing in filing suit or having an injunction issued are pretty slim. Especially if you just turn off the feature.

I have no idea whether the patent restricts having the code present or just using it....


I completely agree, I am pretty sure it would amount to nothing other than a big hassle. Like you mentioned though I am not a patent lawyer so this is just my opinion. I would think disabling the functionality from the front end is enough.
John
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Posted 11 November 2011 - 12:18 AM #18

Well at least I'm safe. The only thing they are going to get from me is my debt and bills. Can't suck blood from a turnip I guess.

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 04:46 PM #19

There is a combined lawsuit in California district court against Kelora. Magento's legal team (aka Ebay) told me the hearing on a motion to invalidate the patent was moved to December 1st. And it could take several more weeks after that before a decision is announced. Hopefully common sense will prevail.

 
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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:13 PM #20

Earlier this week the federal court in California ruled against Kelora and determined that their patents on guided parametric search were invalid due to "obviousness" and prior art. Kelora's suit against eBay, Amazon, NewEgg and dozens of others was dismissed by the court. This also clears the way for these companies to sue Kelora for their legal fees.

This doesn't mean Kelora will quit fighting, they will probably appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. But they have tried this in the past and failed.

This is a big victory for the ecommerce industry against relentless patent trolls like Kelora.