September 12, 2012 - A Memphis-based company called B.E. Technology LLC sued Facebook and LinkedIn for infringing U.S. Patent No. 6,628,314 by delivering targeted ads according to demographics. The plaintiff sued Amazon for infringing a different patent, No. 6,771,290, by serving up ads in Kindle devices "in a personalized manner."
The patents were issued in 2000 and 2001, a time when many such business method patents were issued. Both patents relate to a process of selecting and delivering Internet ads based on what computer applications the viewer has been using.
A copy of the complaint B.E. filed against Facebook can be viewed here.