Amazon Must Face|Patent Lawsuit

     SEATTLE (CN) – Amazon.com will face patent infringement claims that it allowed a vendor to sell knockoff Milo & Gabby pillowcases, a federal judge ruled.
     Milo & Gabby sued Amazon for patent and trademark violations in 2013, claiming Amazon allowed third-party sellers to sell knock-offs online.
     U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez dismissed most of the claims this month, but allowed the direct patent infringement claim to proceed.
     “To succeed on a claim of direct patent infringement, a plaintiff must establish ownership of the patents and show that the accused infringer, without authorization, made, used, offered to sell, sold, or imported the patented invention,” Martinez wrote in the July 16 order denying in part and granting in part summary judgment.
     He found that though the vendors actually sold the pillowcases, Amazon “offered to sell” them and filled the orders.
     “While Amazon notes that the item is ‘sold’ by a third-party vendor and ‘fulfilled’ by Amazon, the fact that the item is displayed on the amazon.com website and can be purchased through the same website, could be regarded as an offer for sale for the reasons discussed in MEMC, supra. [MEMC Elec. Materials, Inc. v. Mitsubishi Materials Silicon Corp., 420 F.3d 1369, 1376 (Fed. Cir. 2005).]
     “Likewise, looking at the website, a potential purchaser may understand that his or her assent is all that is required to conclude the deal. Indeed, the website notes the price, allows the buyer to choose a quantity, and allows the buyer to then conclude the purchase. For these reasons, summary judgment is inappropriate on this claim, and the Court will not dismiss it,” the judge wrote.
     Trial was set for September, but has been postponed due to court scheduling.

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