MacroSolve adds Sears to companies sued for patent infringement

The Oklahoma company owns a Web forms patent granted in 2010

MacroSolve, an Oklahoma company focused on enforcing its patents, has added Sears to a growing list of companies it has targeted with patent infringement lawsuits, it said Wednesday.

MarcoSolve, in announcing the lawsuit against Sears, didn't say where it filed the case. Several other patent lawsuits brought by the company were filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a court where many such cases are filed.

MacroSolve owns U.S. patent 7,822,816, covering a method for the management of data collected from a remote computing device including creating questionnaires and making the responses available on the Web. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the patent in October 2010.

The patent addresses mobile information collection systems across all wireless networks, smartphones, tablets and rugged mobile devices, MacroSolve said in a press release.

MacroSolve didn't respond to a request for comments on the lawsuit. A Sears spokesman said the company doesn't comment on active litigation.

Earlier this month, MacroSolve filed a patent infringement lawsuit against retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond. In November, the company filed patent lawsuits against Redbox Automated Retail, the video rental company, and American Express. In 2012, MacroSolve also filed patent lawsuits against several companies, including Target, JetBlue Airways, JPMorgan Chase, AOL, Bank of America, Marriott, Geico, Facebook, Yelp and Newegg.

Patent blogger Florian Mueller wrote about MacroSolve in 2011, when the company was filing patent lawsuits against small developers.

He called the company "dangerous" then. "They're definitely a prime example of the patent troll problem plaguing many U.S. businesses large and small these days," he said in an email Wednesday.

But Chandran Iyer, a patent lawyer with the Sughrue Mion law firm in Washington, D.C., said it's premature to label companies like MacroSolve as dangerous without knowing the merits of its cases. "If the case has no merit, there are mechanisms within the civil procedure rules that will allow for the plaintiff to be sanctioned," he said in an email.

Companies that don't make products based on their patents, sometimes called non-practicing entities (NPEs), are causing problems in the U.S. patent system, "but we have to keep in mind that there are different types of NPEs," he added. "I'm sympathetic to NPEs that had a product at one time but for various market reasons their products are no longer in the marketplace."

If MacroSolve distributed products "at one time which their patents cover and they are now trying to monetize on these patents, I don't have a problem with them bringing the lawsuits, as long as they are meritorious," Iyer added.

Last August, MacroSolve sold its Illume Mobile app developing unit to DecisionPoint Systems for US $1 million in cash and stock. MacroSolve would focus instead on patent enforcement and licensing, company officials said then.

The company filed several patent infringement lawsuits, including some against small developers, in 2011.

The cases against some of the companies, including Facebook, JPMorgan Chase and Marriott, have since been dismissed.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MarriottJPMorgan ChaseU.S. District Court for the Eastern District of TexasDecisionPoint SystemsFlorian MuellerJetBlue AirwaysNeweggChandran IyerinternetFacebookamerican expressBath and BeyondBank of Americaintellectual propertylegalpatentJim McGillGeicoyelpSearsMacroSolvemobileRedbox Automated RetailSughrue MionAOLTargetBed

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?