January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Amazon picks up a recommendation service patent

As if Amazon.com does not already have enough of an advantage in the online marketplace, the giant online retailer has now snagged a patent for a recommendation service that could put similar technologies on other sites in jeopardy. The recommendation service patent, which covers Amazon.com's BookMatcher service, was issued earlier this month and is the latest of six patents issued to the Seattle-based company. The BookMatcher used a type of collaborative filtering technology that which used other buyers' book ratings to recommend books under similar topics. The BookMatcher technology serves as the basis for Amazon.com's current recommendation service, although the retailer has not indicated if it will pursue a patent for its updated service. Amazon.com has filed lawsuits regarding its other patents, including one against rival bookseller Barnesandnoble.com for its 1-click purchasing technology.

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