Shopify Wins Reversal Of $40M Web-Tech Patent Verdict

Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify (SHOP.TO) convinced a Delaware federal court to overturn a jury’s decision that required the company to pay $40 million in damages for infringing patents related to website-building technology.

U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews announced on Friday that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s findings that Shopify infringed the patents, which belong to the patent-holding company Express Mobile.

Attorneys for Express Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. A Shopify spokesperson called the decision “a significant victory in the battle against patent trolls.”

Express Mobile, which owns patents related to internet and mobile technology developed by its founder, former IBM engineer Steven Rempell, sued Shopify in 2019. The company argued that Shopify’s website-building tools infringed its patents related to software for providing content to mobile devices.

Express Mobile has sued dozens of tech companies for allegedly infringing the same and other patents, including Google, Meta, and Amazon.

A federal jury decided last year that Shopify owed Express Mobile a lump sum of $40 million for infringement. However, Judge Andrews stated on Friday that the verdict could not stand because there was no evidence that any Shopify merchant enabled the features accused of violating Express Mobile’s rights.

The case is Shopify Inc v. Express Mobile Inc, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, No. 1:19-cv-00439.