Friday, October 27, 2006

IBM goes against Amazon in patent infringement battle

IBM goes against Amazon in patent infringement battle

Key aspects of Amazon.com Inc.'s retailing Web site are improperly built on technologies developed at IBM Corp., Big Blue alleged Monday in two lawsuits against Amazon.
Amazon is accused of infringing on five IBM patents, including technologies that govern how the site recommends products to customers, serves up advertising and stores data.
Some of the patents were first filed in the 1980s, including one titled "Ordering Items Using an Electronic Catalog."

"Given that time frame, these are very fundamental inventions for e-commerce and how to do it on the network," said John Kelly III, IBM's senior vice president for intellectual property. "Much, if not all, of Amazon's business is built on top of this property."
Hundreds of other companies have licensed the same patents, and IBM has tried to negotiate licensing deals with Amazon "over a dozen times since 2002," Kelly said. Amazon.com -- which has bought a lot of hardware from Hewlett-Packard Co. over the years but not IBM -- has allegedly refused every time.


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