Feeds

Amazon.com goes nuclear on Avis, Orbitz

Patent infringement

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Amazon.com Holdings has launched a legal offensive against a number of websites including Orbitz and Avis, claiming that they've infringed Amazon patents.

Both brands are owned by Cendant, the travel and property services giant with twice the turnover of Amazon. Through Avis and Budget, Cendant owns owns a third of the car rental market, has interests in property franchising (Coldwell Banker) and hotel franchising (Days Inn, Travelodge, Ramada, Super 8), and last year acquired Orbitz.

The on-off bickering between the two was renewed 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 says it has suffered "irreparable injury and damages, in an amount not yet determined, for which plaintiffs are entitled to relief".

Jeff Bezos says the patent system is broken, but his statements are consistently at odds with his company's actions.

Bezos says that business methods patents are particularly bad, but Amazon has filed patents on a wide variety of business methods, including affiliates programs, payments, data presentation and and even gift giving. In an open letter five years ago, Bezos called for a public comment period, but Amazon.com users non-publication requests that prevent the US Patent and Trademarks Office from disclosing the application, such as when it filed to patent a weblog interface.

In his defense, Bezos argues that patents are defensive and should never be used, and illustrated this when Amazon.com sued rival bookseller Barnes and Noble for infringing on its notorious One Click patent.

In fact Bezos hates patents so much he has applied for 15 in his own name of which eight have been granted; as patent-watcher TheoDP noticed recently, one Amazon patent was granted after five rejections over four years. And as patent '399 shows, he was busy filing before Amazon.com had sold a single book.

Clearly, the world needs more crusaders against patent abuse like Jeff Bezos. ®

Related stories

Amazon profits go down the Swanee
Amazon CEO chooses nowhere for space program
Amazon's Bezos investigated by Feds
Dotcom CEOs are vapid, empty, shallow and that's the good ones
Amazon sues Barnes & Noble over checkout system

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.