IBM Sues Amazon Over Patents

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IBM on Monday said it has filed a pair of lawsuits against Amazon.com, alleging that the online retailer has infringed on five patents, according to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). IBM has licensed the patents to other companies and has tried to work with Amazon.com "over a dozen times since 2002," but it "has refused every time," according to the court filings.

The patents include technologies that deal with customer recommendations, advertising, and data storage. The Wall Street Journal characterized them as "broad" and said that some of them were originally filed in the 1980s. The newspaper also noted that Amazon.comis well-known "one-click patent" is currently under review by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after receiving criticism that it was "overly broad and obvious."

John E. Kelly, IBMis senior vice-president for intellectual property, said of his companyis patents: "These are very fundamental inventions for e-commerce and how to do it on the network. Much, if not all, of Amazonis business is built on top of this property.ii Amazon.com declined to comment.

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