February 15, 2001, 12:00 AM

Barnes & Noble wins appeal in Amazon suit

Appeals court overturns ruling against BarnesandNoble.com regarding patent infringement of Amazon`s one-click shopping technology.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. yesterday overturned a 1999 preliminary injunction which stopped New York-based Barnes & Noble from using its one-click check out system called "Express Lane." Seattle-based Amazon.com filed suit against Barnes and Noble claiming the Express Lane infringed its patent of one-click checkout technology.

Barnes & Noble would say nothing about the case other than issue the following prepared statement. "We are pleased with the ruling, and gratified by the court`s statement that Barnes & Noble.com ‘raised substantial questions as to the validity’ of the one-click patent. We believe the ruling validates our position that the allegations brought against us by Amazon.com are completely without merit and we will continue to vigorously defend our position when the case is returned to the trial court. We do not intend to sit back and allow Amazon.com to stake a claim upon any technology that is widely used. Allowing them to do so abridges our rights as a leader in e-commerce, but more important limits the choices of customers. We consider the customer, not the retailer, to be at the heart of e-commerce."

Amazon could not be reached for comment. However, the Associated Press reports that Amazon is preparing to take the matter to trial. The full case is scheduled to be heard before the District Court in September.

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