Ecommerce giant countersues IBM

In a strongly worded rebuttal, Amazon.com on Thursday countersued IBM. The companies have charged each other with patent infringement.

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In a strongly worded rebuttal, Amazon.com on Thursday countersued IBM. The companies have charged each other with patent infringement.

The countersuit, filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, denies that Amazon.com infringes IBM patents, seeks to invalidate some IBM patents and charges IBM with infringing on some Amazon.com patents.

IBM illegally uses Amazon.com technology in its widely deployed application server, WebSphere as well as in IBM information management services and products, Amazon.com claims. IBM and its customers thus infringe on Amazon.com patents, the web retailer said.

The Amazon.com patents enable a website to recommend products to customers based on their browsing and buying histories.

Amazon.com made the claims in response to a patent infringement suit that IBM filed in October.

In addition to the counterclaims, Amazon.com argues that some of the patents that IBM charges it with infringing are unenforceable. "IBM's broad allegations of infringement amount to a claim that IBM invented the internet," the suit reads. "If IBM's claims are believed, then not only must Amazon.com pay IBM, but everyone conducting electronic commerce over the World Wide Web (indeed, every website and potentially everyone who uses a web browser to surf the web) must pay IBM a toll for the right to do so." The suit calls that idea "nonsense."

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