Amazon sues rival over 1-Click

Amazon.com Inc. said it has filed suit against rival booksller Barnesandnoble.

Amazon.com Inc. said it has filed suit against rival booksller Barnesandnoble.com Inc., saying it illegally copied a shopping feature on Amazon's site.

The suit, filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleges patent infringement and seeks an immediate and permanent court-ordered halt to the defendant's copycat feature. It also asks for an unspecified amount of damages, Amazon (Nasdaq:AMZN) said.

Stopping the copycats
The suit centers on a feature called 1-Click, which was introduced in September 1997. The feature is designed to allow customers to shop without having to re-enter their shipping and billing information every time they buy. Amazon received a patent on 1-Click last month.

In a statement, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said: "Being a pioneer and innovating for customers is always hard. We spent thousands of hours to develop our 1-Click process, and the reason we have a patent system in this country is to encourage people to take these kinds of risks and make these kinds of investments for customers."

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Back in April, Amazon settled a legal fight with another competitor, retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) had sued Amazon, charging the company with stealing trade secrets by recruiting Wal-Mart employees and business partners in order to copy the discounter's massive computer system. Amazon had filed a countersuit in the same state court, deriding Wal-Mart's efforts to do business on the Internet and accusing the retailer of chilling its employees' ability to look for work elsewhere.

The out-of-court settlement required Amazon to reassign at least one former Wal-Mart employee, limiting the job responsibilities of other former Wal-Mart employees, and requiring all former Wal-Mart employees to return any Wal-Mart property they still have.

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