The real reason why IBM is suing Amazon.com
So IBM is suing Amazon.com over five patents which Big Blue claims the online retailer is violating. You'd think that IBM would try to cultivate Amazon as a hardware customer rather than sue it. But IBM takes the business of intellectual property pretty seriously, since it earns more than $1 billion a year from patent licensing. That might seem like reason enough to risk the bad press of suing Amazon, which has a number of hardcore fans among its shoppers.
At Bloggingstocks.com, Brian White has another take. Amazon.com, White explains, could be the next IBM with its plans to rent out server space and computing power. That's an emerging business for IBM, too, and the distraction and expense of a patent lawsuit could prevent Amazon from pouring more resources into this field.
But The Browser thinks there's more to this than just chasing lucre or hurting a new rival. Could IBM be aiming for a settlement that involves cross-licensing some of Amazon.com's vaunted e-commerce patents, like its famed one-click-shopping routine? There's one patent in particular on which IBM might have its eyes: A method for buying and selling Web services in a marketplace. IBM's been hyping "service-oriented architecture" for years - a vision of programming where people write "Web services" to connect software programs over the Internet. No doubt IBM sees itself as a better middleman to run a bazaar of Web services for its consulting clients. In that light, suing Amazon over other patents could be a smart way to get access to an even more valuable patent. What do you think are IBM's motives for suing Amazon?
IBM and Amazon have never really gotten along. Back in the days when Amazon was just a small up and rising company in Seattle. IBM courted Amazon to use it's products and technology. However, Amazon was a little to big for it's own good and wanted everything for free! HP stepped in and gave them hardware, while other companies also joined the frey. IBM was not into giving away it's technology (at the time it really did beat the competition hands down), and Amazon chose the free route. That has produced a not so cooperative environment for the two companies to work together. Although I know the executives at both companies, both professionally and personally to be great people, the corporate environments in which they work makes it not so suprising at the move of egos.
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