Supreme Court asks US government to step in on Amazon cloud case

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The US government has been asked to weigh in on a previous infringement case brought by a PersonalWeb Technologies against Amazon and other brands that use its AWS hosting services.

The US Supreme Court has sought the federal government's views on PersonalWeb's appeal seeking to throw out a rule that restricts patent owners from filing follow-up suits after it initially lost its case involving Amazon cloud (opens in new tab) customers such as BuzzFeed and Patreon.

Following PersonalWeb’s petition (opens in new tab) in April 2021, the Supreme Court's 1907 ruling in Kessler v. Eldred was cited - a case where a patent owner tried to sue a manufacturer for patent infringement and was subsequently barred from suing another customer on the basis of the same product. 

PersonalWeb vs. Amazon's cloud customers

The issue began back in December 2011, when PersonalWeb sued Amazon and its customer Dropbox (opens in new tab) in the Eastern District of Texas on the grounds that Amazon S3 infringed patents from the “True Name” family.

PersonalWeb alleged infringement by Amazon S3 (opens in new tab) and later by another Amazon service called CloudFront (opens in new tab), as well as the website of Amazon’s subsidiary Twitch Interactive.

The company accused each of these services based on their use of the HTTP standard, the protocol that governs how all web browsers and web servers communicate and transmit resources, such as HTML pages and images, for the worldwide web.

Amazon told TechRadar Pro it declined to comment on the US Supreme Court’s decision.

Via Reuters (opens in new tab)

Abigail Opiah
B2B Editor - Web hosting & Website builders

Abigail is a B2B Editor that specializes in web hosting and website builder news, features and reviews at TechRadar Pro. She has been a B2B journalist for more than five years covering a wide range of topics in the technology sector from colocation and cloud to data centers and telecommunications. As a B2B web hosting and website builder editor, Abigail also writes how-to guides and deals for the sector, keeping up to date with the latest trends in the hosting industry. Abigail is also extremely keen on commissioning contributed content from experts in the web hosting and website builder field.