IBM Suing Amazon over Patents

Monday, October 23, 2006 | 11:25 AM

Last week, I gave IBM the nod pre earnings for a number of separate reasons.

One of the factors in our analysis was their rich patent pipeline. we noted:

Huge Patents:  IBM Leads in U.S. Patents for Thirteenth Consecutive Year; This is potentially a rich pipeline for the company in the future. They currently garner about $1Billion a year in (high profit) revenue from licensing their patents.

Well, that didn't take long:

IBM now alleges that Amazon has knowingly infringed upon five patents, related to: customer recommendations, purchase systems, advertising, web site navigation and the way its stores data on its network.

This is not the first time we have brought up the issue of monetizing  intellectual property. Back in January 2005, we mentioned the Rise of the Pure Patent Business Model:

Patent litigation in the U.S. is substantial and rising. High-profile patent suits will only accelerate in 2005. Why? The new business model: the pure patent play. Consider VC Intellectual Ventures, which has been creating and buying patents. The defunct Commerce One's 39 Web services patents were auctioned off in bankruptcy to the unknown JGR Acquisitions for $15.5 million. I expect to see a slew of patent litigation from these (and other) players in 2005.

This promises to be an intriguing area of investing.

Oneof our biggest winners in 2004 / 2005 was the small cap stock Ampex (AMPX). Understanding the legal intellectual property issues -- and how they could create an investable thesis -- was definitely an advantage in the marketplace . . .

Monday, October 23, 2006 | 11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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Some of those IBM patents smell bogus, like "customer recommendations". I think we need to improve the patent system to keep only real patents in play.

Amazon also had this stupid "one-click purchase" patent a while ago. They should eat their own shit now.

Posted by: bob | Oct 23, 2006 12:26:09 PM

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