Channel Intelligence files patent law suit against wishlist web startups
Channel Intelligence, based in Florida has filed a lawsuit against a long list of web start-up businesses, claiming that they are infringing US Patent 6,917,941 which, it believes, patents storing wishlists in databases.
Wish lists have become a common feature of many web sites, allowing users to mark products as something they would like as a gift, or just as a reminder of things they may want to buy. Channel Intelligence say that their patent, filed in 2001 and granted in July 2005, covers this process.
According to TechCrunch, who have a copy of the legal papers, about seventeen small US based startups who offer various types of lists online are being sued.
It also appears that Channel Intelligence are taking legal action against European based sites. Bla-bla list is also being sued; Bla-bla Lists is a free web based list sharing service based in Belgium. The Bla-bla List code was developed as a demonstration of the RIFE web application framework, and like RIFE, Bla-bla Lists is dual licensed under the CDDL/LGPL.
The list of companies facing this legal action is most notable for the absence of Amazon, which is probably the best known company with a wishlist feature in it store. Amazon also possesses the funds, lawyers and experience with patent law, unlike the actual defendants who are all small startups. Many of the defendants actually deal in general lists of things, rather than wishlists, which may indicate that Channel Intelligence believe their patent covers all web based user generated lists.