4 May 2017

University of Tennessee sues Amazon and IBM for patent infringement

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UoT), the organisation that licenses the university’s IP, has sued Amazon, HP and IBM, among others, for patent infringement.

The UoT filed its suits at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on Tuesday, May 2 and Wednesday, May 3.

According to the suit, the companies allegedly infringed the UoT’s patents, US numbers  7,454,411, 8,099,733, 6,741,983, 7,272,612, and 7,882,106.

The patents cover “parallel processing and high performance database design”.

Amazon, the suit added, infringed the patents through Amazon Redshift, a warehouse service in the cloud.

IBM is alleged to have infringed through its database product, IBM DB2.

The patents-in-suit have been cited in patents and patent applications by companies such as Microsoft and Google, said the suit.

The UoT asked for damages, a judgment that the defendants’ infringement was wilful, enhanced damages, attorneys’ fees and a jury trial.

A spokesperson for Amazon told WIPR that it has a longstanding practice of not commenting on litigation and declined to comment.

A spokesperson for Microsoft added that it has nothing to share at this time.

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