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Thu March 10, 2011
Amazon.com & Google facing suits for alleged patent infringement
Technology that enables good results for searches on the Internet is at the heart of two patent lawsuits brought against online retailer Amazon.com and search-giant Google.
San Francisco-based MasterObjects has filed federal complaints against both companies, saying they're stealing its technology.
The technology is known as "instant search." If you're buying something on Amazon.com's web site, results come up even before you've finished typing in your key words. The same is true for Google searches – instead of hitting return and waiting for your results to come up slowly, they appear instantly.
And they're more accurate than ever.
MasterObjects is a company that was founded in the Netherlands in the year 2000. According to their complaints, they developed that super fast search capability and filed a patent for it more than a decade ago…and both Amazon.com and Google have taken it without asking or paying for it. MasterObjects says those companies have also extended the technology to the iPhone, the Android and Microsoft Windows phones.
The patent infringement suits seek immediate injunctions. An attorney in the case says he thinks it will take two years to resolve.
Mark Anderson on Technology