Database. flickr / Eirik Stavelin

A Texas patent-holding company unleashed a new barrage of litigation in the past week, suing more than 140 companies that don’t appear to have much in common, beyond being engaged in online retail. The defendants range from retail giants like Nordstrom, Costco, and Amazon, to smaller specialty companies like Drill Spot and Costume Craze.

The two biggest lawsuits—filed last Thursday, in both Delaware and California, against most than 100 companies around the country—appear to have helped create a new record in patent litigation history. On Thursday Sept. 15, “54 new patent cases were opened nationwide against a total of 804 named defendants,” based on available federal courts data,  according to Kyle Jensen, who runs the PriorSmart litigation-tracking service. “That is an all-time record for both statistics by my count.”

An attorney representing Select Retrieval in one of the lawsuits, Lloyd Pollard of Ganz Law, said that he would forward an interview request to his client “so it can decide whether it wishes to communicate,” but didn’t respond to additional questions about the suit.

Select Retrieval LLC shares an address with another company called PJC logistics that has filed more than 20 patent suits this year. (Here’s one.)

Texas corporate records indicate the company is managed by Patrick J. Curry of Woodway, Texas.

In total, Select Retrieval filed four lawsuits on September 13, 14, and 15, using different law firms. Many, but not all, of the defendants were notified of Select Retrieval’s claims in a letter that the patent-holding company sent out on August 29, according to the complaints.

  • Select Retrieval LLC v. American Apparel LLC et al. [PDF] This lawsuit, filed in San Diego by San Diego IP Law Group, names 34 retailers throughout the nation.
  • Select Retrieval LLC v. Alice.com et al. [PDF] This lawsuit, filed in the Western District of Wisconsin, names 13 companies engaged in e-commerce. The defendants are all based in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
  • Select Retrieval LLC v. Altrec et al. [PDF] This lawsuit, filed in Portland, Oregon, names 18 companies, including Adidas, T-Mobile, Amazon.com, and T-Mobile. With the exception of Adidas, all the defendants are based in Washington and Oregon.
  • Select Retrieval LLC v. Amerimark Direct et al. [PDF] Filed in Delaware, this suit is the largest, naming 80 different companies.

There’s a single patent at issue, No. 6,128,617, in all these suits. Issued in 2000, it describes a way of retrieving and displaying information from a database. It was originally issued to David Lowry of Oregon, and was transferred to Stratia Concepts in 2009 before moving over to Select Retrieval in February 2011.

One earlier Select Retrieval lawsuit, filed in August against 14 companies, asserts an additional patent, No. 5,953,724. That one also originated with David Lowry.

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