LinkShare wins patent on technology

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LinkShare Corp. announces Dec. 6 it has won a U.S. patent for the technology behind its affiliate-marketing network. The patent includes rights to technology that manages the financial relationship between merchants and site owners.

Stephen Messer, chairman-CEO of LinkShare, said it's too early to tell how the development bodes for rivals, such as affiliate software provider Be Free; Mr. Messer said LinkShare would spend the next few weeks figuring that out, but it wouldn't rule out taking legal action.

"We're excited that the government has agreed we've innovated this concept," he said. "Our core business is protected in the coming years ahead."

In related news, a Seattle U.S. District Court judge last week blocked Barnes & Noble from using one-click shopping technology on its site because competitor Amazon.com claimed it violated a patent the e-tailer won in September. In a statement, Amazon called Barnes & Noble's technology a "copycat" version of its 1-Click software.

Copyright December 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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