Amazon Sued for Patent Infringement Over Suggestive Search

Published by: Kelly Curtis on 10th Mar 2011 | View all blogs by Kelly Curtis
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Amazon Sued for Patent Infringement Over Suggestive Search

MasterObject, a company that offers Flash and AJAX-based software solutions for internet search, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Amazon.com, claiming the online retailer uses technology for its suggestive search functionality that is covered by a patent it owns.  The patent in question, according to the complaint, is pat. no. 7,752,326: “System and method for utilizing asynchronous client server communication objects”.

Here is a brief summary of the patent, which MasterObject first filed in August 2001:

A session-based client-server asynchronous information search and retrieval system for sending character-by-character or multi-character strings of data to an intelligent server, that can be configured to immediately analyze the lengthening string and return to the client increasingly appropriate search information.

    Embodiments include integration within an Internet, web or other online environment, including applications for use in interactive database searching, data entry, online searching, online purchasing, music purchasing, people-searching, and other applications. In some implementations the system may be used to provide dynamically focused suggestions, auto-completed text, or other input-related assistance, to the user.

Of course, Amazon.com is far from the only company using suggestive search functions based on what users type.  Google, Bing, eBay, and Apple's App Store all offer similar features in their searches.  In fact, ecommerce sites without this type of suggestive search functionality have become increasingly rare.

MasterObject has so far declined re    quests for comment on the complaint, as has Amazon.

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