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Judge Rules in Favor of Amazon in Patent Case
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A federal judge has ruled that patents that Amazon challenged cannot stand because they seek to patent ideas.

Summary: A federal judge has ruled that patents that Amazon challenged cannot stand because they seek to patent ideas.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein ruled on Wednesday that online ecommerce patents that Amazon Inc. challenged as indefinite functional claiming were patent-ineligible, The Recorder reports.


Amazon and Google recently battled over a non-compete clause.

Amazon was represented by Fenwick & West and Latham & Watkins in the case. Judge Rothstein noted, “These claims describe nothing more than what buyers and sellers have done since the dawn of commerce, The only difference is that Telebuyer suggests the application of generalized computer function and technology in the transaction.”

Ronald Katz owns Telebuyer LLC. Katz also owns Ronald A. Katz Licensing Co., one of the country’s most successful nonpracticing entities. Katz and Telebuyer asserted seven patents that described methods of patching online buyers and sellers based on their histories. These methods directed buyers to items they were more likely to purchase.

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Last year, HBO signed an agreement with Amazon Prime.

Amazon first attacked the patents as indefinite means-plus-function claims. Later, it argued “the rule against owning naked functions and the rule against owning naked ideas.”

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On Thursday, Rothstein agreed that the patents were drawn to ineligible subject matter because matching buyers and sellers is an abstract idea with no inventive concept.

Netflix recently won a method patent suit against Rovi.

The opinion read, “The representative claims are devoid of any specialized hardware, programming, system logic, or algorithms that would allow Telebuyer’s traffic control system to actually function. While Telebuyer describes the use of a data-driven traffic control system in e-commerce, it left to others the task of creating—i.e., inventing—the necessary algorithms and other specialized programming to achieve that system.”

Latham & Watkins partners Douglas Lumish, Matthew Moore, Gregory Garre, Richard Frenkel and Gabriel Gross led the team for Amazon. Brian Buckley of Fenwick & West and Amazon’s associate general counsel Jeffrey Dean also appeared at last month’s hearing.

O’Melveny & Myers partners Brian Berliner and Mark Samuels appeared for Telebuyer and Katz, who were joined by Yarmuth Wilsdon’s Jeremy Roller and counsel Xin-Yi “Vincent” Zhou.

Clockwise from top left: Berliner, Samuels, Zhou, Roller, Buckley

Clockwise from top left: Berliner, Samuels, Zhou, Roller, Buckley

According to GeekWire, patent litigation in the United States is expected to hit an all-time high by the end of 2015.

Source: The Recorder

Photo credit:, O’Melveny & Myers (Berliner, Samuels, Zhou), (Roller), Fenwick & West (Buckley)


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