|Amazon.com Sues barnesandnoble.com for Patent Infringement|
Suit Alleges Competitor Copied Innovative 1-Click(R) Technology that Makes Online Shopping Hassle-Free
SEATTLE--Oct. 21, 1999--Leading online retailer Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) has filed suit against barnesandnoble.com, saying it has illegally copied Amazon.com's innovative, patented 1-Click(R) technology that makes online shopping as easy as a click of the mouse button.
The suit, filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleges patent infringement and seeks an immediate and permanent court-ordered halt to the defendant's copycat feature. It also asks for an unspecified amount of damages.
First made available to Amazon.com customers in September 1997, the 1-Click(R) feature allows customers to shop conveniently without multiple steps or re-entering their shipping and billing information every time they buy.
"Being a pioneer and innovating for customers is always hard," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. "We spent thousands of hours to develop our 1-Click process, and the reason we have a patent system in this country is to encourage people to take these kinds of risks and make these kinds of investments for customers."
The 1-Click(R) feature securely stores billing and shipping information so that returning customers need only click their mouse once to buy a selected item, rather than re-entering the same information over and over again for each purchase. In recognition of the innovative and unique nature of the 1-Click(R) technology, the U.S. Patent Office awarded Patent No. 5,960,411 to Amazon.com on September 28, 1999.
About Amazon.com, Inc.
Amazon.com (Amazon.com, Inc. and its subsidiaries) is the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 video, and No. 1 book retailer. Amazon.com opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection with online auctions, toys, electronics, and free electronic greeting cards. Amazon.com lists more than 15 million unique items in categories including books, music-CDs, toys, electronics, videos, DVDs, and computer-game titles. Through Amazon.com zShops, any business or individual can use sell virtually anything to Amazon.com's more than 13 million customers, and with Amazon.com Payments, any seller can accept credit card transactions, avoiding the hassles of offline payments.
Amazon.com seeks to be the most customer-centric company where customers can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. Amazon.com's All Product Search scours the Web to help customers find merchandise that is not available at Amazon.com, Amazon.com Auctions, or Amazon.com zShops, making Amazon.com the shopping destination to find anything.
Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk in the United Kingdom and www.amazon.de in Germany. Amazon.com also operates PlanetAll (www.planetall.com), a Web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 150,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crewmembers dating from the birth of film in 1892 to the present. Amazon.com also operates LiveBid.com (www.livebid.com), the sole provider of live-event auctions on the Internet.
Amazon.com has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient: drugstore.com, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at www.drugstore.com; Pets.com, the online leader for pet products, expert information and services, at www.pets.com; HomeGrocer.com, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service, with operations in Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and Northern and Southern California, at www.homegrocer.com; and Gear.com, which offers brand name sporting goods at prices from 20% to 90% off retail, at www.gear.com. Amazon.com also has a minority interest in Della & James, the leading online wedding gift registry, at www.dellajames.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, risks related to auction services, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1998 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 1999 and June 30, 1999.