Monday, July 18, 2005

DOTCOM FOODFIGHT! - It's been a while since we've seen a high-profile spat between dotcoms, and the recent spat between Cendant (which owns Orbitz, Avis, Budget, Days Inn, Travelodge, Ramada, Super 8), and Amazon seems to be shaping up to the the doozie of the year.

The on-off bickering between the two flared up on June 20, when Cendant filed suit in a Delaware court claiming that Amazon infringed its patent 6,782,370. The patent, granted last year, is entitled "System and Method for Providing Recommendation of Goods or Services Based on Recorded Purchasing History."

Amazon and its search subsidiary A9 responded two days later, claiming Cendant and subsidiaries infringed on Patents 5,715,399 ("Secure method and system for communicating a list of credit card numbers over a non-secure network", filed 1995); 6,629,079 ("Method and system for electronic commerce using multiple roles", granted 2003) and 6,029,141 ("Internet-based customer referral system" filed 1997).

Cendant has sought a jury trial, while Amazon is currently looking for a preliminary injunction, claioming it has suffered "irreparable injury and damages, in an amount not yet determined, for which plaintiffs are entitled to relief".

Oddly enough, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has attracted much press over the last 5 years, bemoaning the state of patents in the US. Particularly, he claims to dislike business method patents, although he apparently applied for 15 patents under his own name (8 of which were granted - two of which are asserted in the lawsuit). The always predictable, and always cranky crowd at Slashdot doesn't like this one bit.

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