Thomas L. Duston Comments on e-Commerce Patent Lawsuits

January 5, 2011

Online retailers face million-dollar demands in increasingly frequent patent lawsuits. Suits by non-practicing entities, or so-called "patent trolls," have reportedly increased by 400% in the last ten years. Widespread use of common internet technologies creates an attractive target for patent holding companies that assemble patent portfolios they then claim cover these technologies.

Thomas L. Duston commented in the article "Defusing the Patent Bomb," that online retailers can protect themselves via indemnification clauses within their contracts, but that they can expect to meet resistance from suppliers to such obligations. Mr. Duston also advises that greater precision is needed regarding damage calculations in these cases. "You buy a particular printer online because of features of the printer, not because the web site has a specific online shopping cart," Duston explains. "There is a big debate on this issue, how to measure properly the value of a patented feature of a web site." The article appeared in InternetRetailer magazine on January 3, 2011.

Thomas L. Duston has been praised by colleagues and opponents alike as a tenacious and creative advocate for his clients. Mr. Duston has litigated patent infringement claims in an impressive array of technologies, including e-Commerce and the Internet. His peers named him a "Leading Lawyer" in IP Litigation and an Illinois Super Lawyer.