Got a commercial website? Prepare for a writ from a Parallel universe

What do the following companies have in common with each other?

Aeo, Amway, American Eagle Outfitters, AOL, Barnes & Noble, Bass Pro Shops, Bestbuy, Borders Group, Brawn, Cabela’s, Coldwater Creek, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Footlocker, General Motors, Google, Hayneedle, Iconix Brand Group, IP Holdings, Juicy Couture, Kohl’s Illinois, LF LLC, Limited Brands, Liz Claiborne, Lowes Home Centers, Mapquest, Musician’s Friend, Nordstrom, Onestop Internet, Oriental Trading Company, Patagonia, QVC, Rampage Clothing Company, Recreational Equipment, Redbox Automated Retail, Restoration Hardware, Sony, Southwest Airlines, Staples, Sunglass Hut International, Target Corporation, The Nieman Marcus Group, The North Face, The Orvis Company, Tiffany & Co, TripAdvisor, US Airways, VF Outdoor, Williams-Sonoma, Women’s Apparel Group, and Zappos Retail.

The answer is they’re all being sued for a patent infringement by a company called Parallel Networks LLC in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. Conveniently,  Parallel Networks LLC lives at 100 E.Ferguson Street, Suite #602 in Tyler, Texas.

The defendants are being sued over US patent 6,446,111, called Method and apparatus for client-server communications using a limited capability client over a speed communications network, issued on the 3rd of September 2002.

So what are they alleged to have done? Each of them uses “servers which receive requests from client devices and collect data items as a function of the requests; executable applets dynamically generated by such servers in response to the client requests; constituent systems associated with such applets comprising a subset of the data items and further comprising a data interface capability configured to provide a plurality of operations with such applets being transferred over the communications link to the client device.”

Couldn’t Parallel Networks LLC just sue the whole world, rather than just all of the above?