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Intellectual property is becoming more and more valuable and...

Intellectual property is becoming more and more valuable and protecting intellectual property rights is becoming more important—and more difficult—as time goes by. The rise of the Internet is a major force behind the increase in intellectual property disputes. Here's a look at the top 5 intellectual property disputes both on and off the Internet.

by Heleigh Bostwick

updated May 11, 2021 ·  3min read

 

Intellectual property is becoming more and more valuable and protecting intellectual property rights is becoming more important—and more difficult—as time goes by. The rise of the Internet is a major force behind the increase in intellectual property disputes.

Here's a look at the top 5 intellectual property disputes both on and off the Internet.

1. Amazon's 1-Click Patent

Amazon was granted a patent for 1-click technology on September 28, 1999. Also known as one-click buying, the technology allows customers to make an online purchase in a single click—without having to manually input billing and shipping information every time they purchase a product. Instead, 1-click uses a billing address and credit card or other payment info that is kept on file in the user's account.

Related: 5 Things You Can't Copyright

There have been several patent disputes surrounding 1-click technology, including a patent infringement lawsuit filed against Barnes & Noble in 1999—only a month after Amazon's patent was issued. Barnes & Noble offered a checkout option called "Express Lane," which also enabled shoppers to make a purchase with one click. The lawsuit was settled in 2002; however, the terms were not disclosed.

2. Google Trademark Keywords

In April 2009, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling stating that Google must continue in a trademark infringement lawsuit brought on by Rescuecom. In the lawsuit, Google is accused of selling the trademarked name "Rescuecom" as a keyword to Rescuecom's competitors. The keywords are used to deliver Google's sponsored search results, therefore allowing competitors to appear on the results page when a user searches for "Rescuecom." The lawsuit was originally filed in 2006 and dismissed by the lower courts.

This isn't the first time Google has found itself in the same legal predicament. Both American Airlines and Geico have sued Google over selling their trademarks as keywords. Google's trademark policy has gone through several iterations as the company attempts to find a balance that protects trademarks, yet allows retailers to advertise the trademarked goods they sell.

3. The Da Vinci Code Case

In the famous Da Vinci Code court case of Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh vs. The Random House Group Limited, Baigent and Leigh alleged that Dan Brown, author of the bestselling Da Vinci Code, infringed on the copyright of their non-fiction work, Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Because Brown had not copied the text of the earlier book, the claim was based on "non-literal" copying—Baigent and Leigh asserted that Brown told his story in the same "manner" in which they had expressed historical facts in their book.

The claimants' case was dismissed in 2006 with the judgment stating in part that "...there is no copyright infringement either by textual copying or non textual copying of a substantial part of HBHG..."

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