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Amazon pays $40 million in patent settlement

Online retailer makes one-time payment to settle dispute with Soverain Software over shopping-cart technology.

Amazon.com announced in a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has settled a patent dispute by making a one-time payment of $40 million to Soverain Software, a Chicago-based e-commerce company. The terms of the settlement also provide for dismissal of all claims and counterclaims and grant Amazon a nonexclusive license to Soverain's patent portfolio, the filing said.

Soverain originally filed a claim against both Amazon and clothing retailer Gap on Jan. 12, 2004, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. According to a 2003 filing Amazon made with the SEC, the suit alleged that Amazon had infringed several patents: one that involved a method of processing service requests from a client to a server through a network, and two related to shopping-cart, or "network sales," technology.