Discovery says infringement case v Amazon not new

WILMINGTON, Delaware Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:42pm EDT

The Kindle DX electronic reader (R) and Kindle 2 at a news conference in New York, May 6, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

The Kindle DX electronic reader (R) and Kindle 2 at a news conference in New York, May 6, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

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WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - A patent infringement lawsuit filed on Wednesday against Amazon.com was a procedural move and not a new lawsuit, according to Discovery Communications Inc, which filed the complaint.

Earlier on Thursday, Reuters reported that Discovery Communications filed a lawsuit on Wednesday accusing Amazon.com Inc of infringing patents covering electronic book delivery and security with its Kindle e-book reader.

Discovery said it previously filed the patent infringement case in on March 17, 2009. Discovery said it recently moved the patents to a separate corporate entity and Wednesday's complaint reflected that move.

Discovery owns several educational and nonfiction cable television stations, such as Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.

"The new lawsuit was brought because the patents at issue in the original lawsuit were recently assigned to Discovery Patent Holdings LLC," said a Discovery spokeswoman.

Discovery Communications was issued the patents in 1999 and 2007 and has accused Amazon.com of infringing the patents with its website and Kindle electronic book reader.

Amazon.com did not return a call for comment.

Amazon.com shares closed down 1 percent to $122.06 and Discovery shares ended down 0.9 percent to $36.29.

The original case is Discovery Communications Inc v Amazon.com Inc U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, No. 09-00178.

(Reporting by Tom Hals; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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Comments (1)
Stupidscript wrote:
Why just Amazon? The patent in question (identified along with nearly 100 other contributory patents held by other entities in the complaint: http://corporate.discovery.com/media/uploads/pdf/discovery-communications-complaint.pdf) is a “concept” patent, not a “technical” patent … there is no invention there, just the idea of encrypting content made available for subscriptive download.

Any eBook delivery system that uses encryption “violates” the patent, so will they go after Apple and other online “bookstore” vendors, as well?

This is yet another case of a patent that never should have been granted, because there is no “there” there … it’s just a concept that can be approached and realized in a dozen different ways.

Terrible. I would not be surprised if Apple owned a good-sized chunk of Discovery and was guiding this action to bite into Amazon’s market share, now that the iPad is out and in direct competition.

Jul 15, 2010 3:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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