Discovery sues Amazon again for patent infringement over Kindle
Discovery Communications intellectual property subsidiary Discovery Patent Holdings filed suit against Amazon Wednesday, claiming Amazon's line of Kindle e-book readers infringe on two patents held by the company. The suit is the second between the two companies over such technologies.
Amazon was originally sued by Discovery Communications in March of last year, accusing the company of violation of a comprehensive patent on e-book readers titled "Electronic Book Security and Copyright Protection System" (#7,298,851). This covered the Kindle and Kindle 2 models.
This newest suit names Discovery Patent Holdings as the plaintiff and adds the DX model as well as a new patent which was titled "Electronic Book Selection and Delivery System" (#5,986,690).
Discovery holds the rights to a third e-book related patent (#7,716,349) titled "Electronic book library/bookstore system," however that one -- applied for in 2000 and not issued until 2010 -- is not part of the suit.
The '690 patent was issued to Discovery Communications in 1999, while the '851 patent was awarded in 2007. According to court documents, the patents were transferred to Discovery Patent Holdings on Monday of this week. It appears as if Discovery Patent was spun off to hold its parent company's intellectual property, and thus the suit was refiled.
It looks like Discovery is not asking for an injunction, however it did demand royalty payments begin as well as unspecified damages. The company is also asking the court for a jury trial.
A glance through the patents does seem to give some credibility to Discovery's claims last year that it had thought of the concept of e-book readers in the method in which Kindle operates. At the same time, it also seems as if other Internet connected readers, such as the Nook, would also violate these patents.
Requests for comment had been sent to Amazon.com, who had not responded as of press time.
UPDATE A representative from Discovery contacted us this afternoon saying, "Discovery Communications, Inc. previously filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Amazon.com, Inc. on March 17, 2009. I wanted to clarify that the paperwork filed July 14, 2010 is not a new lawsuit, rather a procedural issue assigning the patents and thus naming the plantiff in the lawsuit, as Discovery Patent Holdings, LLC...There are no changes to the lawsuit - same terms, patents named, etc. "