IBM sues Amazon for patent infringement

IBM is suing Internet retailer Amazon.com for unspecified damages.

IBM Monday announced it has filed two lawsuits against Amazon.com claiming the Internet retailer has infringed on five IBM patents, including technologies that govern how its site handles customer recommendations, advertising and data storage.

IBM says it filed the lawsuits after attempting to resolve its patent-infringement concerns with Amazon.com for nearly four years. During that time Amazon.com “has shown no willingness to have meaningful discussions,” IBM claims.

Specifically, IBM said Amazon.com has infringed on five key IBM patents related to the presenting of applications in an interactive state; storing data in an interactive network; presenting advertising in an interactive service; adjusting hypertext links with weighted user goals and activities; and ordering items using an electronic catalog.

"We filed this case for a very simple reason. IBM's property is being knowingly and unfairly exploited," said John Kelly, senior vice president of IBM technology and intellectual property, in a statement. “Everything we do is premised on the fundamental principle that IBM's intellectual property is one of our core assets, and represents the work product of tens of thousands of scientists and engineers and billions of dollars of investment.”

IBM filed the lawsuits in two district courts for the Eastern District of Texas and is seeking unspecified damages.

IBM holds more than 40,000 patents and has led rankings of U.S. patents granted for 13 consecutive years. In September IBM announced plans to publish its patent applications online to share their details. IBM said at the time such disclosures should reduce the risk of patent disputes and lower the chance that its innovations will infringe upon the patents of others.

In January IBM teamed with Open Source Development Labs and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on an initiative to speed up the patent approval process and improve the quality of patents.

Learn more about this topic

IBM patent giveaway too little, critics say

01/17/05

Big Blue makes the most of its gray matter

01/19/04

IBM to open up patent filings

09/26/06

IBM leads, Sony out of 2005 U.S. patent ranking

01/13/06

IBM leads program to improve patent quality

01/10/06

   
Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

IT Salary Survey: The results are in