Amazon Strikes Back At IBM In Patent War

    December 15, 2006

Recently IBM sued over patent infringement. On Thursday Amazon fired back with a suit of it’s own directed at IBM for patent infringement. The countersuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Amazon disputes that they infringe on IBM patents and that IBM infringes on patents that Amazon holds.

The Web retailer claims that IBM illegally uses their technology in WebSphere. In their suit Amazon says,” “IBM’s broad allegations of infringement amount to a claim that IBM invented the Internet. If IBM’s claims are believed, then not only must pay IBM, but everyone conducting electronic commerce over the World Wide Web (indeed, every Website and potentially everyone who uses a Web browser to surf the Web) must pay IBM a toll for the right to do so.”

Both sides probably have legitimate points concerning patent infringement. The problem is that what they are taking issue with are broad areas that will only waste both sides time.

In a post by Boyan Josic he wrote,” IBM seems to have a patent on everything. They already bring in a little over $1B in yearly revenue coming from licensing agreements stemming from their patents. The argument that a lot of their patents, mostly the Internet related ones are broad, are very valid. Most of these were probably issued when the Internet was in its infancy stage, and there should be a way for them to be re-examined. Because in their current portfolio, IBM could make a case vs. any company using a shopping cart and checkout system online, and we know that’s not going to fly.”

Instead of fighting each other in court over vague patents maybe IBM and Amazon could work together to come up with an intelligent plan for patent reform.

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Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.