RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Hit with Patent Infringement Lawsuit

A New Zealand woman has accused portal giant Yahoo! Inc. of infringing on a patent for online shopping software.

Juliette Harrington alleges that Yahoo! (YHOO) is illegally using software that allows people to compare prices for goods and services sold over the Internet. The claim was filed by U.S.-based patent marketing firm SBH Inc., which Harrington worked with to market the product.

Harrington's software for the universal shopping cart system was patented in the U.S. in April, the report said. The cart allows users to select merchandise from several sites and only bill through one location.

Yahoo! Shopping uses the universal shopping cart, but the claim says that no licensing agreement had ever been forged.

Steven Schuver, president of SBH, said this is a classic David and Goliath story.

"[Yahoo] is in clear, blatant violation of the patent," he said, explaining that his firm tried to settle the dispute out of court first, and has never sued anyone before. "They banked on the fact that we wouldn't sue them. That wasn't the case."

Yahoo! did not comment on the lawsuit.

Infringement allegations are spotting the e-commerce landscape of late. Topping the recent software infringement allegations list is a recent Amazon (AMZN) claim against e-tail competitor barnesandnoble.com (BNBN) over a patent Amazon recieved in August for its 1-Click online shopping technology.