Lawsuits Against Amazon Treble in 2011


Amazon has been sued 11 times over 30 different patents in 2011, a three-fold increase from last year

Amazon has revealed that a total of 11 companies have filed lawsuits against it since the beginning of 2011, more than three times as many during the whole of last year.

Details of the 20 alleged patent infringements were made public as part of a declaration to US Financial regulators. Claims included disputes over its website personalisation technology, cloud computing and aspects of its Kindle eBook reader.

Amazon will “vigorously defend” itself

Two of these claims have already been dismissed and Amazon has said it disputes the claims and will “vigorously defend” itself against the remaining complaints.

One of these dismissed claims, made by Dutch developer MasterObjects, alleged that Amazon’s drop-down search engine infringed one of its US patents, while another claimant, LVL Patent Group, has an ongoing lawsuit claiming that Amazon’s mobile technology infringes four of its patents.

This marks a huge increase in lawsuits against Amazon. During the whole of 2010, Amazon was sued by just three companies over a total of four patents, of which one was settled. However the recent increase may only foreshadow what is yet to come when Amazon delivers its first tablet, the Kindle Fire, later this year.

Amazon is currently under scrutiny in the USA over its Silk web browser’s ability to track users’ browsing habits and the tablet market is currently flooded with claims and counterclaims, especially against Google’s Android operating system, which the Kindle Fire uses.

Apple has been relentless in its crusade against Android and the Galaxy Tab, which is currently banned from sale in Germany and Australia. In addition, Samsung recently elected to pay Microsoft a royalty on every Android phone it sells rather than face further legal action from the computing giant.


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