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Policy: Law

Hunting and fishing retailer settles lawsuit over Web patent

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Law,Fishing,Patent Law,Legal Newsline

TYLER, Texas (Legal Newsline) – Popular outdoor retailer Bass Pro Inc. has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against it and dozens of other retailers for allegedly infringing on a Texas company’s Web patent.

bassprologoBass Pro and plaintiff Parallel Networks LLC filed a joint motion to dismiss all claims and counter-claims in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Tyler Division July 15.

“Plaintiff Parallel Networks LLC (‘Parallel’), on the one hand, and Defendants Bass Pro LLC and BPS Direct LLC (formerly Bass Pro Inc. and Bass Pro Outdoors Online LLC) (collectively ‘Bass Pro’), on the other, have reached a settlement of the above-captioned matter and have agreed to dismiss the claims, counterclaims and causes of action between them,” the motion stated.

Judge Leonard Davis signed an order of dismissal July 22.

The settlement — details of which were not disclosed — resolves claims against Bass Pro that have been pending in the Texas federal court since 2011.

Parallel, founded in 1995 and based in Tyler, operates as a patent-holding company. Formerly known as epicRealm Licensing LP, it was originally formed to provide software to run websites at faster speeds.

The company — which doesn’t have a website itself — filed its original complaint in March 2010.

Among the other companies Parallel targeted: Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Amazon.com Inc., Disney Enterprises Inc., Kmart Corp., Netflix Inc., Nike Inc., Sears Roebuck and Co. and Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

Parallel claims that the companies infringed on U.S. Patent No. 6,446,111 — the ‘111 patent — entitled “Method and Apparatus for Client-Serve Communications Using a Limited Capability Client Over a Low Speed Communications Network.” The patent was issued to Parallel Sept. 3, 2002.

According to Parallel’s complaint, one or more claims of the ‘111 patent cover various systems and methods comprising servers, which receive requests from client devices and collect data items as a function of the requests; executable applets “dynamically generated” by such servers in response to the client requests; constituent systems associated with such applets comprising a subset of the data items and “further comprising a data interface capability configured to provide a plurality of operations”; with such applets being transferred over the communications link to the client device.

Bass Pro’s website was accused of infringing the patent.

Bass Pro did not respond to requests for comment on the settlement.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at patents@legalnewsline.com.

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