Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

Summary: It's not even available yet, but the Kindle Fire is already a target in a patent suit. Let the patent games continue!

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TOPICS: Amazon, Hardware
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The week is getting started with another fresh patent infringement lawsuit, and this time the source is a product that hasn't even been released yet.

Amazon's highly anticipated Kindle Fire, which was unveiled last week and won't be available until November 15th, is being attacked by a suit from Smartphone Technologies LLC, which is owned by Acacia Research Corporation, a known patent collector of sorts.

There are at least four points (along with a fifth one regarding the new Kindle Touch 3G) at question in this case, including:

  • A patent covering the act of tapping an icon on the tablet's touch-sensitive display to perform an action
  • A patent intended for Palm over displaying and manipulating multiple calendars on a PDA

Even if the second one was designated for Palm, both of these functions sound like commonplace features on tablets -- and mobile devices in general -- at this point. However, this is how patent collectors make money: buy up the patents before everyone else can and then charge an absurd amount -- or just plain sue someone else.

These sorts of tactics seem to be catching fire lately, leading for many analysts to think we're in the middle of a patent bubble.

There is patent reform on the way as President Obama recently signed the America Invests Act into law, shifting from the first-to-invent system to the first-to-file route.

Such actions will probably please the likes of Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who recently said at Dreamforce 2011 that he thought patents have been handed out too generally in the past and would like to see a more systematic approach to the approval process.

[via PaidContent]

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Topics: Amazon, Hardware

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52 comments
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  • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

    tapping an icon???
    tatiGmail
    • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

      @tatiGmail

      One click?
      bannedagain
      • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

        @bannedagain

        Amazon can't have it both ways. One-click is as trivial as icon-tapping and yet Amazon get millions in royalty for their one-click-patent.
        global.philosopher
      • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

        @bannedagain They are suing Amazon. Not the other way around.
        hforman9
    • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

      @tatiGmail
      I think I'll patent the idea of using text to convey meaning...
      BillDem
  • Hey, that's a rectangle. Someone call Legal.

    Seriously, more 'patenting the obvious'.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      In this case I have to agree with you.
      athynz
    • rectangle

      Is it too late to patent the process of butt scratching?
      borntski
      • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

        @borntski
        depends on how deep you go.
        Big B
    • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      That wasn't sarcasm, was it? I think that was sarcasm. Someone call legal. Didn't we patent saying one thing in order to convey the opposite?
      tkejlboom
  • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

    It looks too much like the iPad. Someone call apple's legal team.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

      @Cylon Centurion
      These aren't design patents. Maybe calling Microsoft's legal team would be better idea.
      anono
  • It has a power switch? Better call my lawyers

    ;)
    William Farrell
    • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

      @William Farrell: Mine will call them firsts - because it exists! That's all I need. I have a patent for that somewhere in Asia, you'd bet this thing passes through there sometime during shipping.
      Natanael_L
  • And people tell me patent lawsuits are mostly frivolous /sarcasm

    "A patent covering the act of tapping an icon on the tablet???s touch-sensitive display to perform an action
    A patent intended for Palm over displaying and manipulating multiple calendars on a PDA"

    Multiple calenders on a PDA? Tapping an icon to get it to do something? These are things that somebody spent tens, nay hundreds, of hours on how to implement.

    This sort of thing isn't obvious or anything. /sarcasm
    Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

    Just wait 'till I start suing companies for using my patent on "holding a device in one hand while manipulating it with the other."
    dsf3g
    • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

      @dsf3g
      Nope they all need human touch in any form like holding, touching, scribbling with pen that is touched by human hand with or without hand gear and other sorts of human touch like carrying, putting in a bag, folio, case, putting on a table or some sort of place holder for watching and enjoying content, using any sort of electricity to operate, which is patented by me. See my patent is very broad and more viable than yours. so all royalties should go to me. ;-)
      Ram U
      • But I have more lawyers

        @Rama.NET and I filed my patent application first...so the royalties go to me!
        otaddy
  • RE: Amazon already hit with patent suit over Kindle Fire

    The most obvious patent troll to date, nice how they avoid counter-claims by not making anything. They are holding technological process back and not contributing anything
    kingcobra23
    • Patent law reform.

      @kingcobra23 I think that patents that are granted and no technology implemented should be revoked after say a year. Meaning if you invent something, patent it you get 12 months to prove your developing product. If not, you are labeled a patent troll and patent is invalidated.
      MSFTWorshipper