Amazon Files Motion To Consolidate IBM Patent Suits - InformationWeek

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12/22/2006
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Amazon Files Motion To Consolidate IBM Patent Suits

Amazon wants the cases to be combined into a single action to be heard in a single federal court, not two.

Amazon.com is accusing IBM of filing patent suits against it in two separate Texas courthouse divisions in order "to get two bites at the proverbial apple" and has filed a motion to consolidate the cases.

IBM sued Amazon for patent infringement on Oct. 23, accusing the online retailer of violating a broad swath of IBM patents that govern methods for doing business over the Web. IBM split the action into two cases, one filed in U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas' Lufkin division and one in the Tyler division.

Amazon, which has filed a countersuit against IBM, says the action was nothing more than legal move designed to increase IBM's chances of prevailing before at least one of "two separate judges and two separate Texas juries," according to a motion Amazon quietly filed last week.

Amazon wants the cases to be combined into a single action to be heard in the Tyler division. "If IBM's tactics are accepted, then why would the parties stop at only two courthouses -- why not file another complaint in Marshall, an additional one in Texarkana, and then perhaps another in Beaumont for good measure," Amazon states in the motion.

A judge has yet to rule on the motion.

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