May 9, 2007, 12:00 AM

Amazon and IBM settle their patent infringement feud

After bashing each other in court, Amazon.com and IBM are close-mouthed about a deal ending a controversial patent infringement suit. The companies also have entered into a long-term patent cross-license agreement.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

After bashing each other in multiple court filings, Amazon.com and IBM are close-mouthed about the deal that ends a controversial patent infringement suit.

Amazon.com, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has paid an undisclosed amount of money to settle a patent dispute with IBM. The two companies also have entered into a long-term patent cross-license agreement, though specific terms weren’t disclosed. “We’re pleased this matter has been resolved through negotiation and licensing,” says Dan Cerutti, IBM’s general manager of software intellectual property. “We look forward to a more productive relationship with Amazon in the future.”

In October, IBM filed suit against Amazon and claimed that Amazon infringed on patents for: presenting applications in an interactive service; storing data in an interactive network; presenting advertising in an interactive service; adjusting hypertext links with weighted user goals and activities; and ordering items using an electronic catalog. In turn Amazon accused IBM of illegally incorporating parts of Amazon’s patented personalization technology into WebSphere, IBM’s e-commerce platform, and using the judicial system to unfairly acquire software licensing fees in the online retailing industry.

“IBM’s patent portfolio is the largest and strongest in the information technology industry,” says Scott Hayden, Amazon’s vice president of intellectual property. “Our license to its portfolio, and specifically to its web technology patents, gives us greater freedom to innovate for our customers.”

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