Exclusive: Amazon seeks leader for patent acquisitions
By Alistair Barr
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is recruiting a cadre of intellectual property experts for a push into patent acquisition and licensing, the latest turn in its intensifying battles with Apple Inc and Google Inc in mobile devices and digital content.
Amazon has hired executive recruiting firm Argos Search to help the company hire an intellectual property "Acquisition and Investment Leader" to "identify and evaluate strategic IP acquisition and licensing opportunities," according to a job description obtained this week by Reuters.
The candidate will work closely with all Amazon's technology teams and leaders on future product development, according to the description.
"At Amazon we are rapidly growing in many new and exciting technology areas," the company said in the job posting. "To support and protect our expansion we are seeking an executive to work with our business teams to identify and procure intellectual property."
An Amazon spokeswoman did not respond to an email seeking comment. Thomas Wedewer, an Argos executive recruiter working on the project, declined to comment.
The search suggests that Amazon is trying to amass more patents, either through acquisitions of patent-rich companies, purchases of patent portfolios or licensing, according to intellectual property experts. It is also a sign that the world's largest Internet retailer is serious about being a long-term player in mobile devices and digital content, they say.
Amazon is known for developing its own patents, but mostly in the e-commerce area. An expansion into mobile devices and the delivery of digital content to those devices will require a lot of different patents, intellectual property experts say.
"As they get into wireless devices and digital media, they realize the best way to handle this is to get more proactive in IP," said David Pridham of IPNav, which helps companies make money from their patents. Continued...