International Business Machines Corp. and Web retail pioneer Amazon.com, Inc. are engaged in duels in two federal district courts over sweeping rights to electronic commerce technology. Plaintiff IBM claims that Amazon’s success is built entirely on IBM’s innovations and that Big Blue is entitled to a piece of Amazon’s annual sales, which were over $10 billion last year.
IBM filed the two patent infringement suits against Amazon last October in two separate divisions of Texas’s pro-plaintiff, fast-moving Eastern District. One suit, filed in Tyler, claims violation of two patents; the other, filed in Lufkin, puts three patents at issue. All five cover broad electronic retailing functions, including ordering products from an online catalog, storing data, identifying and saving customer preferences based on past purchases and displaying advertising.
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