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RILA presses Congress to take action on patent trolls

BY Ken Clark

Arlington, Va.-based Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) says costly lawsuits are diverting time and resources from investments in the community and the consumer.

In a letter sent yesterday to House Committee on the Judiciary, RILA senior VP government affairs Bill Hughes stressed the importance of stopping the frivolous and costly lawsuits brought by non-practicing entities, also known as “patent trolls,” on the retail industry.


“The retail industry is a crucial driver of our nation’s economy, and as our customers embrace and utilize technology they expect retailers to do the same,” Hughes wrote in his letter. “However, abusive lawsuits brought by patent trolls have drained valuable time and resources from our companies.”
 

Retailers have worked to employ innovative technologies to benefit their customers, and some of these improvements have made them targets for lawsuits from patent trolls that have diverted costs from investments in our communities.
 

According to RILA, 22% of patent cases were filed by patent trolls in 2007. That number has exploded to 60% in 2012, and about 90% cases are without a judgment on the merits, meaning that companies often settle even though no actual infringement might have occurred.

A recent study reported the median cost of litigating a patent case through trial is between $650,000 and $5 million, and the discovery phase costs $350,000 to $3 million.

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Cleaning supply company picked up by Walmart

BY Ken Clark

Black Diamond Stoneworks’ cleaning products are coming to the shelves of Walmart, according to the San Clemente, Calif.-based company.

Black Diamond Stoneworks manufactures products to clean and seal natural stone surfaces, maintain and restore wood and laminate floors, remove spots and traffic areas on carpets, and eliminate unwanted pet and human odors.

Two of the company’s most popular products are Black Diamond Granite Plus! Cleaner & Sealer and Black Diamond Stoneworks’ Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner with PS3. Both will be sold through Walmart.

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Online retailer pushes free shipping

BY Ken Clark

Online retailer Kitchens On Clearance announced a new program offering free shipping on all orders over $2,500.

Kitchens on Clearance is an online retailer of discounted solid wood cabinets, as well as granite, knobs and other accessories used in kitchen remodeling projects.

The Miami, Fla.-based company, on the Web at KitchensOnClearace.com, says it provides full-service remodeling and renovation projects.  

 

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