Amazon (AMZN) has sued cable network Discovery Communications (DISCA), claiming it violates four e-commerce patents, such as search and recommendation technologies. Amazon also filed counterclaims in response to a suit Discovery filed in March, which claimed that Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader infringes a Discovery-owned patent.
Given how small Amazon’s Kindle business is — and Discovery’s e-commerce business — these aren’t likely to be huge cases.
But it’s a reminder that patents are sticky, and everyone is potentially touching everyone else’s intellectual property.
That’s one reason Apple might not be overly aggressive with its mobile patents, such as suing Palm over its use of multi-touch mobile UI technology, which Apple has patented. Palm has plenty of patents, too, and Apple could be violating some.