AWS fined $525 million after US court rules Amazon S3 storage, DynamoDB services infringed patents

AWS logo and branding pictured in the exhibitor hall at AWS re;Invent 2022 in Las Vegas, USA.
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A US federal court has ruled AWS must pay up to $525 million in damages to technology company Kove for infringing cloud storage patents. 

According to court documents, Kove alleged that two AWS products, Amazon S3 storage and the DynamoDB database service, infringed on three of Kove’s patents. 

Kove originally sued Amazon over this claim in 2018, with the company claiming that it paved the way for high-level cloud storage systems long before the advent of cloud computing as it currently stands. 

“As the amount of data stored in the cloud grew exponentially, there needed to be a way of storing and locating it that was more dynamic and adaptable, otherwise the system can only be so big,” Kove’s CEO, John Overton, said at the time.

Kove’s original complaint stated that the popularity of AWS cloud storage systems relied on the removal of this limitation.

The firm alleged that AWS benefited from Kove’s original innovations, allowing the hyperscaler to dominate in the cloud space by using its data storage designs as the foundations on which to build. 

Jurors concluded that AWS was guilty of infringing on US patent law through the operation of its cloud services, with the court finding that three separate violations of Kove’s ownership rights had taken place. 

AWS counterclaims and assertions of non-infringement, invalidity, unpatentability, and unenforceability were all “dismissed with prejudice” by the jury. 

Though there was some respite for AWS in the fact that the infringements were not found to be “willful”, the company has still been hit with a sizable fine.

AWS plans to contest the ruling

The cloud computing giant, however, does not agree with the court’s decision that it violated patent rights and has told ITPro that it intends to appeal the ruling. 


“We disagree with the ruling and intend to appeal. We thank the jury, which also acknowledged that AWS did not wilfully infringe on patents,” an AWS spokesperson told ITPro

By contrast, Kove's lead attorney Courtland Reichman called the verdict "a testament to the power of innovation and the importance of protecting IP (intellectual property) rights for start-up companies against tech giants," according to Reuters.

Kove is also seeking similar damages in a pending lawsuit against Google which began in 2023. 

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.