Amazon, New York Times Settle Legal Dispute

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Amazon.com Inc., Seattle, this week settled a legal dispute over its use of the New York Times Best Sellers List as part of an ongoing 50 percent off promotion.


Under the agreement reached with the New York Times Co., New York, Amazon will continue using the Best Sellers list and will provide sales data to the Times, but the list will be posted at www.amazon.com in alphabetical order rather than by numerical sales ranking.


The online book retailer further agreed to post the each list only after the Times has made it public and to include a disclaimer that the Times is neither affiliated with nor endorses Amazon.


On May 17, Amazon began selling books on the list at half price. The Times challenged the use of its list, claiming Amazon was violating the newspaper, magazine and broadcast media giant's intellectual property rights. Amazon then filed a legal complaint in federal district court on June 4 seeking the right to use the list and related trademarks without the Times' permission.


Last week's settlement brings the dispute to a close before the Times was required to respond to retailer's complaint.


Amazon sells more books than any other cyber-retailer, and the Times said in a prepared statement that books sold electronically have become "an important part of data collection for the list."
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