May 8, 2007 12:32 PM PDT

Amazon, IBM settle patent lawsuit

A long-running patent feud between Amazon.com and IBM finally ended Tuesday with a court settlement.

According to a statement from Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM, Amazon will pay an undisclosed amount of money to Big Blue in the settlement, and the two companies have agreed to a long-term cross-licensing agreement over the patents in question.

IBM had originally filed two patent infringement lawsuits against Amazon in October in Texas' eastern district, claiming that IBM had been attempting to reach a resolution with the online retail giant since September 2002. The e-commerce patents in question ranged from hyperlink technology to electronic ordering.

In December, Amazon countersued, claiming that IBM's allegations had been "meritless and misleading."

Additionally, the countersuit claimed that IBM had infringed upon five Amazon patents, which covered technologies related to recommendation systems, search queries and "related product" identifications. IBM, which consistently is awarded the most patents out of any company in the U.S., was quick to dismiss those allegations.

Seattle-based Amazon, whose CEO, Jeff Bezos, is a vocal advocate of patent reform, has had numerous patent issues in the past. In 2005, the technology used in its 1-Click checkout system came under scrutiny as potentially infringing upon a similar product made by a small Virginia-based company called IPXL Holdings.

Meanwhile, the U.S. patent system itself is experiencing growing pains as Congress continues to explore the possibility of updating it to better serve the needs of the 21st-century business world.

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Amazon.com Inc., patent, IBM Corp., e-commerce

2 comments

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Just a guess here..
Bezos' folks won't be buying a lot of black machines from guys in blue suits.

Gee, is this a new IBM marketing tactic? Sue your
customers! makes sense to me.
Posted by felgercarbnaysay (49 comments )
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ahh the waste fo software patents
Just take all that money and flush it down the drain, er.. I mean give it to IP lawyers....

This is the kind of waste of time money and resources you end up with when you permit method and software patents. Ordinary or inevitable ideas get monopolized by the first multi-national to rush itself to the patent office with a couple million in its hand - the amount needed to file and defend your garbage patent.


This is what American companies have been reduced to; this is the new American business model

1) pay lobbyists and lawmakers to twist the meaning of IP and extend it into realms it does not productively belong in e.g. software.

2)rush every normal, inevitable , obvious idea to the patent office.. don't worry about your smaller competitors.. it would take an actual human being
5 years to save the 40 grand it takes to have a lawyer file the application. Then of course, it takes a million per claim per patent to defend.. so filing is sort of pointless for any company smaller than a multinational.....heh. heh. heh.

3)fight it out with your nearest rival MNC... so much for those stories that companies only have these things as a kind of M.A.D. they have them to make their boards rich and keep their ivy-league lawyers in coke n' hoes.....

yeah... so we create nothing in this country but bad law and lobbyists and dirtbag lawyers.... no.. we're not Rome in its final days... oh hell no! Who said that???!!!
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
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