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Amazon, Netflix Among Companies Being Sued for Alleged Patent Infringement

15 Sep, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

British technology company BTG has sued Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Netflix and Overstock.com in federal court in Delaware claiming the companies have infringed its patents on technology that tracks users' movements among Web sites.

“We believe the patents are fundamental to the tracking of users for the online marketing programs used by Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Netflix and Overstock.com, and that the commercial potential of the patents is significant,” said BTG CEO Ian Harvey.

A Netflix spokeswoman declined to comment on pending litigation. None of the other defendants responded immediately to requests for comment.

The suit alleges that all four e-tailers are violating U.S. Patent No. 5,717,860, and that Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com are infringing U.S. Patent No. 5,712,979, both of which BTG owns.

The suit seeks a court order barring further use of the technology and unspecified damages for past acts.

BTG has already tried and failed to reach license agreements with the defendants, the company stated.

The patents were granted in 1998, and BTG acquired them in 2002. The technology was developed by Infonautics Corp.

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