Amazon settles Discovery patent lawsuit

Amazon has settled a 2009 patent lawsuit from Discovery, the company behind the Discovery Channel, the Military Channel, and others, PaidContent reports. (We mentioned the lawsuit here and here.) The patent, filed for in 1999 and granted in 2007, had to do with e-book copy protection and secure distribution. Although Discovery does not itself have anything to do with e-books, its founder, John Hendricks, is an amateur inventor who dabbled in e-book digitization and distribution.

The details of the settlement will remain private and confidential (as they usually do), but it seems clear Amazon’s Kindle sales have reached the point where it would be less costly to settle than to continue litigating. And besides, Amazon has other patent lawsuits to deal with, including one involving a patent on tapping an icon on a screen. (Can we reform the patent office, please?)

3 Comments on Amazon settles Discovery patent lawsuit

  1. Quote from the linked article: “Trolls, known more politely as non-practicing entities, are shell companies that don’t make anything but purchase used patents”

    Since patents are IP, and so are ebooks, if ‘trolls’ can purchase ‘used patents’, why can’t I purchase a ‘used ebook’?

    Oh, I know, he really meant a patent that was in use. But ‘used patent’ is such a lovely turn of phrase, isn’t it?

  2. Anybody patented the letter ‘L’ yet? I’d like to get in on this patent trolling action.

  3. Well, what he really meant was “purchase the rights to used patents.”

    You can purchase the rights to e-books; you just have to negotiate with the author. :)

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