Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Kiwi Patent Foresight Threatens Yahoo! Shopping

A patent which threatens to derail the booming Yahoo! online shopping service was originally drafted in New Zealand by patent attorneys Baldwin Shelston Waters two years ago.

It was prepared on behalf of a local client and filed in the United States long before 'e-commerce' became a familiar expression.

The patent, drafted in BSW's Christchurch office covered technology developed by Juliette Harrington, relating to the 'universal shopping basket' concept. This allows online shoppers to compare prices for goods and services sold over the internet by selecting products from multiple sites but checking out at only one location.

The US patent was issued on April 20, this year and Juliette Harrington later appointed St Louis law firm SBH Inc to market and license the patent.

On November 10, SBH Inc filed a lawsuit accusing Yahoo! of infringing the patent with its online shopping technology. The suit seeks damages, an injunction to stop Yahoo! using the technology and reimbursement of costs.

Yahoo! – which reportedly recorded $US100million of purchases on its shopping service last month – has refused to admit the infringement.

Baldwin Shelston Waters' computer law expert Clive Elliott says that when the firm drafted the patent in 1997 it had to work closely with the applicant to attempt to second-guess where e-commerce would go as well as draw on its knowledge of the internet, networks and the web.

"The specification was only eight pages and written simply and clearly which has contributed to its interpretation in determining infringement," he adds.

The patent has been under review for considerable time but its validity has been substantiated by thorough prior art searches.

The style of the original document was focused on US patent drafting practice and examination and has been reviewed extremely favourably by US counsel involved, says Mr Elliott.

"I think it reflects knowledge and foresight in recognising so early in the piece just how significant the technology – and its protection – was to become.

"It will also become a benchmark for future litigation on e-commerce practice.

"We agree with our colleagues at SBH Inc, that without protection, research and development investments made by small enterprises can be simply violated."

The lawsuit remains unsettled at this time.


For further information contact:

Clive Elliott, Baldwin Shelston Waters, Auckland office: Ph 373 3137 or John Terry, Baldwin Shelston Waters, Wellington office: Ph 04 472 1094

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news