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Source: [seattletimes.nwsource.com ]
I wonder if and when this will affect all the major players in the ecommerce software side.
"We entered the settlement for the purposes of ending the litigation and avoiding the expenses of continuing the litigation," said Patricia Smith, a spokeswoman for Amazon.com. "We continue to deny any wrongdoing."
Amazon.com settled yesterday, before jury selection was to begin next week in federal court in Tyler, Texas, said Kenneth Adamo, a lawyer for closely held Soverain. Soverain, based in Chicago, sued Amazon.com last year, accusing it of infringing five patents tied to online payment and identification of users.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 1:55 pm (utc) on Aug. 12, 2005]
[edit reason] left quote [/edit]
Amazon sued over shopping carts - story at silicon.com [silicon.com]
Amazon says it is now being pursued by Soverain over patent number 5,708,780 for Internet Server Access Control and Monitoring Systems. This is also known as the "session identifier patent," and not only lets online retailers analyse how users browse through content on a website, but also can be used to limit access to specific content, including subscriptions or account information. The patent does not cover cookies but could affect other methods of tracking customers, including digital certificates.
And here's the original U.S.patent
Internet server access control and monitoring systems [patft.uspto.gov]
There's question of whether business processes can be patented, but could this possibly affect use of Session IDs?
[edited by: Marcia at 11:24 am (utc) on Aug. 12, 2005]
On the other hand, Amazon is the owner of the famed "one-click checkout" patent which is also just plain common sense. Maybe they got what they deserve...
If session tracking becomes a problem, we might see the same thing happening in the price of server platforms like IIS and Apache, or in the engines that employ the technique, like Zend PHP or ASP.NET
The end user still pays the bill
If all the commonsense patent holders get lidigious, I'd rather see increased prices in server-side tools than risk the threat of an individual lawsuit for using a technology like SSI or Cookies.
Not sure what happened to this company...
[edited by: rogerd at 4:21 pm (utc) on Aug. 12, 2005]
The patent office is bogged down with worthless patents and common sense patents. Not a lot of original or innovative things. Companies file everything these days.
Just becase the patent office gives you a patent doesn't mean you have any right to collect any money. The courts can decide wether the patent has any real value or not. Just because some bozo at the patent office gave it to you means nothing. The guys at the patent office don't even understand what they are reading half the time. All the talented people are out designing stuff not sitting around approving patents.
I should know I have three patents that are worthless myself.
They should have stuck it out.
Amazon could have bought the bankrupt company assets two years ago, owned, the infringing patent, and still be $12 million ahead.
But hindsight is 20/20.
[edited by: jatar_k at 6:44 pm (utc) on Aug. 12, 2005]
[edit reason] fixed sidescroll [/edit]
for a patent to be valid, it must be non-obvious. If challenged, I personally would think this patent would loose. But, somebody has to challenge it... and challenging anything in the legal system comes at an extremely high price... a price so high, even Amazon.com was not willing to bear.
There was a company a few years ago, that was trying to swindle around $5000.00 from a lot of mom and pop operations. They could not afford the legal bills, so most of them shelled out the money for a license to be left alone. Maybe somebody remenbers this from around 2003.
Does the fact that I am based in Europe protect me in any way from these types of lawsuits?
The European Parliament has voted by a massive majority to reject the software patents directive, formally known as the Directive on the Patentability of Computer Implemented Inventions. The vote to scrap the bill was passed by a margin of 648 votes to 14, with 18 abstentions.
Strange times. I don't know where all those piglets came from before Monanto got involved...
There are some funny patents out there.... If you just search around the online patent office, you can find some funny ones.
For example, there is this one guy who was granted a patent on the method of pushing someone on a swing... lol... I dunno what he plans on doing with it, but I suppose he could go around to playgrounds and bully kids.