IBM To Amazon - Pay Up
By: David Utter
Five patents held by IBM have been central to discussions between the company and online retailer Amazon.com, but reticence on the part of Amazon to pay a licensing fee to IBM has led the two parties to court.
A pair of filings in District Courts for the Eastern District of Texas received paperwork from IBM (IBM), the culmination of four years of attempts to negotiate a settlement with Amazon (AMZN) over a quintet of patents IBM claimed have been infringed.
"We filed this case for a very simple reason. IBM's property is being knowingly and unfairly exploited," said Dr. John E. Kelly III, senior vice president of IBM Technology and Intellectual Property. "When someone takes our property, without our permission through a license, we have no option but to protect it through every means available to us."
The discussions with Amazon date back to September 2002, and IBM also noted that other firms license the patents in question. IBM has been a prolific inventor over the years, and has been awarded the most US patents for 13 consecutive years, the company noted in a statement.
Here is a list of the patents serving as the points of contention between IBM and Amazon:
1. US 5,796,967 - Presenting Applications in an Interactive Service.
2. US 5,442,771 - Storing Data in an Interactive Network.
3. US 7,072,849 - Presenting Advertising in an Interactive Service.
4. US 5,446,891 - Adjusting Hypertext Links with Weighted User Goals and Activities.
5. US 5,319,542 - Ordering Items Using an Electronic Catalogue.
IBM has asked for unspecified damages in its lawsuits against Amazon, claiming "Amazon.com has shown no willingness to have meaningful discussions."
Tags: IBM, Amazon
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