Amazon Pays IBM To Settle Pointless Patent Dispute
from the who-benefits? dept
Last year, we were a bit surprised to see IBM sue Amazon over some very broad and questionable patents. After all, IBM has been going on and on about the importance of a better patent system and doing away with such bogus patent suits. As is expected nowadays in patent lawsuits, Amazon (who also claims it wants a better patent system) fired back with a patent lawsuit of its own. Basically, both sides had patents on fairly broad concepts that never should have received patent protection in the first place. However, as is often the case, it’s cheaper to just settle than go through the legal process. So, it should come as no surprise that Amazon is paying IBM to settle the case, with a cross-licensing agreement, to guarantee that IBM won’t sue Amazon over any other random web services patents it comes up with in the future. Again, this doesn’t seem to really benefit innovation in anyway. Amazon created a service doing some obvious things for providing a service to customers, and yet IBM gets to pretend that no one else can do things like “presenting applications in an interactive service” without first paying them. Even worse, by agreeing to license these patents, Amazon has given them even more “legitimacy” and will allow IBM to put pressure on anyone else presenting applications in an interactive service, storing data on a network, presenting advertising in an interactive service, or ordering items in an interactive catalog. I’m sure no one would ever would have come up with such things if it weren’t for the patent system.