E-commerce giant Shopify has scored a legal victory after a Delaware, US, federal court overturned a jury’s decision that required the company to pay $40m for patent infringement, Reuters reported.

The lawsuit, filed by patent-holding plaintiff Express Mobile in 2019, alleged Shopify’s website-building tools infringed on its patents related to mobile content delivery.

According to Reuters, judge Richard Andrews ruled in favour of Shopify, citing insufficient evidence to support the jury’s original verdict.

The disputed patents, owned by Express Mobile founder Steven Rempell (formerly of IBM), pertain to software functionalities for mobile devices.

Express Mobile has a history of suing tech companies over patent infringement, with Google, Meta, and Amazon being previous targets.

Reuters noted a key factor in the court’s new decision was the lack of evidence that Shopify merchants directly used the features in question.

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While Shopify provides website-building tools, the judge pointed out that individual merchants have control over their storefronts’ functionalities.

This disconnect between the platform and merchant actions proved crucial in the case.

Shopify hailed the decision as a ‘significant victory’ against what it termed as ‘patent trolls.’

‘Patent trolls’ are companies that acquire patents not to develop products, but to sue others for alleged infringement.

This win sets a precedent for future cases and strengthens Shopify’s legal standing in the e-commerce space.

Earlier this month, Shopify reported a robust first quarter (Q1) of 2024, exceeding analyst expectations for both revenue and earnings per share.

However, the company’s tempered Q2 forecast has raised investor concerns about maintaining high growth rates in a potentially challenging economic climate.