Amazon owes $525 million in cloud-storage patent fight, US jury says


FILE PHOTO: A logo for Amazon Web Services (AWS) is seen during the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in Paris, France, April 3, 2024. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

(Reuters) -Amazon.com's Amazon Web Services, the world's largest cloud-service provider, owes tech company Kove $525 million for violating its patent rights in data-storage technology, an Illinois federal jury said on Wednesday.

The jury determined that AWS infringed three Kove patents covering technology that Kove said had become "essential" to the ability of Amazon's cloud-computing arm to "store and retrieve massive amounts of data."

An Amazon spokesperson said the company disagrees with the verdict and intends to appeal.

Kove's lead attorney Courtland Reichman called the verdict "a testament to the power of innovation and the importance of protecting IP (intellectual property) rights for start-up companies against tech giants."

Chicago-based Kove sued Amazon in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in 2018. The company said in the lawsuit that it pioneered technology enabling high-performance cloud storage "years before the advent of the cloud."

Kove alleged that AWS' Amazon S3 storage service, DynamoDB database service and other products infringed the cloud-storage patents. The jury agreed with Kove on Wednesday that AWS infringed all three Kove patents at issue, though it rejected Kove's contention that AWS violated its rights willfully.

AWS had denied the allegations and argued that the patents were invalid.

Kove also sued Google last year for infringing the same patents in a separate Illinois lawsuit that is still ongoing.

(Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Sonali Paul)

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