January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Shopping Cart Suit Aimed At Yahoo!

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

SBH Inc. has filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing Yahoo! of patent infringement for an online shopping technology that allows consumers to comparison shop for goods and services from a variety of merchants at a single location. The suit is seeking damages, an injunction to stop Yahoo! from using the technology and reimbursement of attorney fees and court costs.

The suit was filed by St. Louis-based SBH on behalf of the patent owner and inventor, Juliette Harrington, who hired the firm to market the patent. According to SBH, this patent simplifies the online shopping process by allowing consumers to use a universal shopping cart to buy products online. Purchasers can select products and services from multiple sites, it says, but need to check out only at one location.

Yahoo! Shopping features a universal shopping cart as part of its online shopping experience, and SBH contends that it needs a licensing arrangement to use the technology, which it does not have.

SBH Inc. is a patent marketing firm that assists inventors and patent owners in the development, licensing and sale of U.S. patents. It acts as an exclusive agent representing and protecting intellectual property rights.

Yahoo! has not issued an official comment on the suit.

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