California Judge Trims PersonalWeb Suit Against Both Amazon and Its S3 Customers Due to Claim Preclusion and the Kessler Doctrine

March 20, 2019

PersonalWeb Technologies, L.L.C. revived its sprawling litigation campaign in January 2018, suing a large number and wide variety of companies over their use of certain web hosting and caching technologies. That wave of new filings prompted Amazon to file a declaratory judgment action against the NPE that February, seeking judgments of noninfringement for Amazon Web Services customers utilizing Amazon Simple Storage System (S3)—further asserting that those suits were barred due to claim preclusion and preclusion under the Kessler doctrine in light of a previously dismissed case between Amazon and PersonalWeb. Amazon has now largely prevailed with respect to its preclusion claims, as District Judge Beth Labson Freeman has just ruled that PersonalWeb is collectively barred under the asserted preclusion theories from litigating any infringement claims based on S3 against Amazon or its customers. Judge Freeman has also declined to weigh in on a dispute over standing stemming from an unusual contractual arrangement affecting PersonalWeb’s ownership of the asserted patents.

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