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Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Borders, AOL, and IAC Sued over using AutoResponder Technology [PersonRank 10]

Thursday, August 30, 2007
16 years ago2,475 views

What do Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Borders, AOL, and IAC all have in common? They all make use of automated e-mail responders, and they're all being sued for it. A company called Polaris IP is accusing 10 companies of infringing on a patent describing an e-mail system that would allow for rules to be applied, all without human interaction. The complaint, filed earlier this week, asks for damages, attorneys' fees, a jury trial, and a permanent injunction barring all of the defendants from continuing to use their e-mail filtering systems.
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The patent, titled "Automatic message interpretation and routing system," is unsurprisingly general. It was filed in 1998 and awarded to a company called Brightware, Inc. in 2002, and it basically describes an autoresponder. "The method for automatically interpreting an electronic message may also include the step of retrieving one or more predetermined responses corresponding to the interpretation of the electronic message from a repository for automatic delivery to the source," reads the patent.

Polaris accuses Google of "actively inducing infringement" on the patent and contributing to the infringement of others by implementing its own automatic e-mail responder within the company. Amazon, Borders, AOL, and all of the other named defendants are accused of the same. "As a result of these Defendants' infringement of the '947 Patent, Polaris has suffered monetary damages in an amount not yet determined, and will continue to suffer damages in the future unless Defendants' infringing activities are enjoined by this Court," reads the complaint seen by Ars Technica.

Some digging tells us that Polaris has a history of going after large companies—such as Sirius Satellite Radio, Oracle, Capital One,, and E*Trade—for patent infringement.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Ah, the patents mafia!

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