Amazon Wins Trial Over Technology To Order Groceries With Alexa
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Amazon won a Texas trial in which it was accused of incorporating an Israeli company’s patented “smart kitchen” inventions for voice commands to shop for groceries online into the Alexa digital assistant. Amazon didn’t infringe three patents owned by closely held Ikan Holdings LLC’s Freshub unit, the federal jury in Waco, Texas, said Tuesday. Freshub said its inventions allow consumers to create shopping lists, establish a shopping cart and order from their local grocer by using voice commands or scanning bar codes of products with an internet-connected device. Amazon knew of Freshub and its patents when it incorporated the technology into its Alexa assistant and Echo smart speakers, and promoted it for use with its Whole Foods grocery chain, Freshub claimed.

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Amazon accused the company of manipulating patent applications to ensure they covered Alexa and Echo after the popular products had already entered the market. Amazon also warned jurors that a victory for Freshub would mean more lawsuits by the company against other tech firms like Apple and Google. Freshub argued consumers using the technology spent more money, so it was entitled to $3.50 per unit sold with the functionality, for a total of $246 million. Amazon argued that the patents were worth at most $1 million.

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