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Amazon One-Click Patent to be Re-Examined

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the more-than-one-click dept.

132

timrichardson writes "A New Zealand actor, frustrated by a poor shopping experience, has successfully requested that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office review the correctness of Amazon's infamous One-Click patent. An examiner for the agency ruled that the re-examination requested by Peter Calveley had raised a 'substantial new question of patentability' affecting Amazon's patent, according to a document outlining the agency's decision."

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132 comments

So all you need to fight patent trolls... (0)

Stellian (673475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364953)

...are frustrated actors?

Re:So all you need to fight patent trolls... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15366077)

Just heard in the RIM boardroom: OK - let's get rid of all the fscking money-sucking lawyers and hire that actor!

It's about time (4, Insightful)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364955)

I hope this is a precendent: maybe the patent system, broken as it is, will slowly get fixed over time by constant vigilant review of bogus patents.

Now we just need them to quit issuing the crappy ones in the first place.

Re:It's about time (5, Interesting)

astralbat (828541) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365014)

If you RTFA it says that another patent for the single-click method was given 18 months earlier.

This can only mean that if Amazon has to give this up, it enable someone else to sue instead.

Re:It's about time (3, Insightful)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365051)

It does kind of prove his point though - people have to take out patents and protect them agressively because otherwise someone else can come and demand a slice of their business or threaten to take things away from them. I know this isn't the only reason why amazon has gone after this patent (no doubt getting at their competitor was a bonus) but it does show a fundamently flawed system

Re:It's about time (1)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365163)

protect them agressively because otherwise someone else can come and demand a slice of their business

i wonder what amazon's licensing fee is for me to use one-click on my website...

Re:It's about time (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365394)

people have to take out patents and protect them agressively because otherwise someone else can come and demand a slice of their business

We used to call that "free enterprise."

Re:It's about time (1, Informative)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365575)

I hope this is a precendent

Ahem *cough* [uspto.gov] and *cough* [uspto.gov] . Has it not occurred to you that perhaps you don't know anything about how the patent system works? Re-exam is an old and well-established practice. Try learning for a change. You would be amazed at what you find out.

Re:It's about time (3, Insightful)

swelke (252267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366241)

Re-exam is an old and well-established practice.

That may be so, but it's also a practice they haven't excercised much lately. I'd say it's an interesting precident that they're actually reexamining a high profile case.

Try learning for a change. You would be amazed at what you find out.

Try not being an ass for a change. You'd be surprised at how nice everybody else suddenly becomes.

EFF's Patent Busters project... (2, Interesting)

RareButSeriousSideEf (968810) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365635)

Seems to be gaining momentum on the "vigilant review" front - two re-exams granted just recently:

Test.com: http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2006_05.php#00468 2 [eff.org]
Clear Channel: http://www.eff.org/patent/wanted/patent.php?p=clea rchannel [eff.org]

God, I'm glad these guys do what they do.

http://www.eff.org/patent/ [eff.org]

First post (2, Funny)

gusmao (712388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364957)

first post! (patent pending)

Re:First post (4, Funny)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364993)

We regret to inform you that not only has the first post on this article been acheived by another user, but in fact the entire first post gimmick has significant prior art by the GNAA, to whom you may be liable for infringement.

disclaimer: this post is in no way associated with the poster(s) responsible for the typical GNAA-related post. It just seemed appropriate to mention them.

Re:First post (1, Informative)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364998)

Re:First post (2, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365078)


I guess any link gets +1 informative.

But this is not prior art, its common sense.

When I buy goods or services on the street, I typically use "one click" stuff when the price is right.

Me: What do you have?

Them: I have X for $YY

Me: Sounds good, here is $YY.

Them: Here you go.

So, what is so unique about doing this on a computer or online?

Oh, I have to keep my CC on file with people I don't know who may sell or lose that info to someone else at any time with no compensation to me for my lost time or money. Oh, I get spammed from now to the end of time by Amazon about the killer deal of the week.

Patents need to change. Especially those that are only unique because they are "online" or "with a computer". These things are not that special, if not special at all.

Oh, and don't people in Europe buy soft drinks and other stuff from vending machines with 'one click' from their cell phones? Is that patented, or just common sense?

Re:First post (3, Funny)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365183)

So, what is so unique about doing this on a computer or online?

The computer is a magical box where fairies and elves live (to most people). That is why its so unique. Those of us who know how computers work ... we understand better than the layperson.

Re:First post (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365623)

I call that a bar tab...

I one click the bar tender all the time... works like a charm.

Great, but... (2, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364974)

OK, so maybe there was a prior patent, but why is there any patent on a "single clisk to buy it" business process? That's just stupid in the extreme.

Re:Great, but... (1)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365291)

Was Amazon supposedly using the One-Click to buy when Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Wallet? Also, in Site Server 3.0 I believe, there was a process for single click purchases through their Ad Manager. I guess I need to do research on when the patent was supposedly developed - but this is something we've seen through so many different websites I don't think it should be valid.

Re:Great, but... (3, Interesting)

RareButSeriousSideEf (968810) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365367)

What's more, even after the insane patent was granted, this still should have had a stake put in it seven years ago. If an infringing system can be made non-infringing simply by adding superfluous complexity to the infringing apparatus, then the patent (whether Amazon's or some predecessor's) is devoid of any recognizable intellectual property:
"In 1999, Amazon obtained an injunction that forced rival bookseller barnesandnoble.com to go to two clicks"

So there you have it. Unless the USPTO vacates this patent, according to the logic in the injunction Amazon obtained, we'd have to let Barnes & Noble register ownership of "two click ordering" if they so desired. Then online bookstores & other retailers could logically follow suit, until Newegg was 84th in line & I had to write client-side auto-follow scripts to speed through the checkout process.

I have a virtual donut for anyone with a screenshot of what when Barnes & Noble's second click looked like when they first implemented it to comply with the injunction. I'd have done something like "Your order is almost complete. Please click here [bn.com] for no reason whatsoever except that a pissy competitor of ours fought in court to create this hassle for you. (More info [freesoftwaremagazine.com] )"

"[...] several other online businesses claimed [the patent] was overly broad and that the technology wasn't very original."

Well duh. For all the ink that's been spilt on this issue, I'm amazed that all it took was a dude from New Zealand willing to throw a few grand at the problem to get it reviewed. Krikey!

"Amazon.com remains confident in the validity of its 1-Click patent, which enables customers to shop conveniently without having to enter their shipping and billing information each time they purchase."

Uhhh... wait a minute. Was Amazon saying they own the idea of not having to re-enter one's shipping & billing information with each purchase? Really?

Re:Great, but... (2, Insightful)

deadlinegrunt (520160) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365956)

"Well duh. For all the ink that's been spilt on this issue, I'm amazed that all it took was a dude from New Zealand willing to throw a few grand at the problem to get it reviewed. Krikey!"

All the groupthink, anti-this.or.that that is abundant on slashdot - It has been my own personal experience that in a capitalistic society such as the United States, money is what makes things happen. Everything else pales in comparison...Including benevolent virtues, doing the Right Thing, etc.

Re:Great, but... (5, Informative)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365385)

What's important to note is why this particular patent, even more so than other software patents, is stupid. It's stupid because it doesn't patent *how* you accomplish something, just *that* you accomplish it. It would be like patenting "computing numbers quickly" rather than patenting "a specific chip that can compute numbers quickly".

Re:Great, but... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365907)

thank you! someone is making sense

Re:Great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15366896)

Hey, I just got a patent for the WHEEL. That's right, everyone that owns a motorcycle, bicycle, unicycle, tricycle, car/SUV are going to have to pay me a LICENSING FEE. Ohh, and think about those 18-wheelers. I'm GONNA BE RICCCHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

one click... (3, Insightful)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364978)

they guy is gettiong revenge because a book took too long - he doesn't even have any real interest in this "tech". Still, I really dislike the "one click" idea anyway because you cna end up buying things without realising thinking that you would actaully get to confirm and review the purchase - I think what amazon forced on it's competitor is better than what they use.
Further, this makes me wonder how on earth this actually got made into a patent anyway it is far too general and doesn't have any novelty to it; also, it's not really a "tech" is it, it's a button - and they've existed for ages

Re:one click... (3, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365041)

From the article: Calveley wrote on his blog that his crusade is revenge for an "annoyingly slow" book delivery from Amazon. He used the blog to raise the $2,520 reexamination fee.

Ok, while I agree the Amazon patent is suspect, I think this guy is in it more for the free publicity. He's an actor! I have things I ordered from all sorts of online places get to me annoyingly slow, which for me is any time interval less than instantaneous, but I haven't gone to court to have a patent re-examined over it!

Does New Zealand have a small claims court, because that's where I would have sued them for the amount I spent on the book, plus some damages to keep them honest. Hell, it probably would have gone unopposed; you think Amazon is goijng to waste a couple thousand bucks on lawyers fees when they might settle it for a couple of hundred? No, this guy's in it to boost his profile, not because he's doing anyone a favor.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365092)

No, this guy's in it to boost his profile, not because he's doing anyone a favor.

And? Who cares about his motives? It's the results that matter.

If my daughter was kidnapped, and a burglar breaking into the kidnapper's house rescued her, I'd be damned grateful to that burglar, even though he was in the process of committing a crime for his own benefit when he did the good deed.

Re:one click to sue them all! (1)

sudo (194998) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365188)

Yep He's had a amazing long career http://msn-uk.imdb.com/name/nm1342014/ [imdb.com]

err, even that was uncredited ... http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2003-03-1 9-mocap_x.htm [usatoday.com]

I think he should be known as the Uncreditted Virtual Actor.

So far his publicity exceeds his acting career ... or IS his publicity his creditted acting career?

Who cares. (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365216)

People seem to be spending a lot of time concentrating on this guy's motivation.

I really don't understand why. Why should I care what his motivation is? The point is that he got the USPTO to re-examine a dumb patent. If it did it for the publicity or to hawk his blog or because he thinks it'll speed up the Second Coming of Jesus, I don't really care. Hooray for him, in any case; the point is that the action he took was good, irrespective of the motive.

I'm not going to fault him because he was doing it for publicity. Maybe if a few more people did what he's doing -- for publicity or whatever reason -- we'd have a few less shitty patents floating around.

In fact, if you want to hurt a company these days, you're better spent going after their patents than trying to take them to court directly, especially small-claims. So if there's a company you don't like, and you can get the dough together to force a re-examination of their patents, by all means please do so. I won't question why you're doing it, the point is that it gets done.

Re:Who cares. (1)

gwayne (306174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366315)

Yeah, but what suck is that he had to cough up $2200 to have a crappy patent re-examined. If it turns out to be invalidated, Amazon should be required to reimburse him!

Re:one click... (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365210)

end up buying things without realising thinking that you would actaully get to confirm and review the purchase

that actually happened to me, on amazon.com. I was fantasy shopping -- filling the cart to see how much I had to save up and that sort of thing -- and bought a book by mistake! It turns out, that I wanted the book. If I didn't, I could have just cancled it I suppose. But it was a fine excuse to get the book early without waiting for my allowance to recharge.

one click isn't required (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365524)

I think what amazon forced on it's competitor is better than what they use.

You can use regular (checkout) type shopping with Amazon too. I don't have one-click turned on, for the same reasons you mention.

Way to go ... (0)

zeridon (846747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364980)

It was high time this bureau start looking at the papers someone is sticking on their desks. There are prety much useless or extortionate patents out there and they has to be cleaned out.

I wonder if i can patent breething ... it will be fun.

Re:Way to go ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365223)

You must do a lot of it through your mouth. It's "breathing".

Re:Way to go ... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365713)

breething
Breeding would be even better.

Re:Way to go ... (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366627)

Go ahead and do that. In the mean time I'll try to patent breathing. One of us may make boatloads of money :-)

Fee, schmee (5, Interesting)

Grrr (16449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15364990)

From the AP story via Yahoo! [yahoo.com] :

Calveley wrote on his Web log that his crusade is revenge for an "annoyingly slow" book delivery from Amazon. He used the blog to raise the $2,520 reexamination fee.


Dang - is that all it took? I'd be willing to throw some ad-click revenue toward getting some of these other ridiculous patents "reexamined"...

(Irritating, but predictable, that someone has to pay, and the USPTO can't take the initiative to reexamine extremely controversial patents otherwise.)

<grrr />

Re:Fee, schmee (1)

deblau (68023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366511)

Check out H.R. 2795 on Thomas [loc.gov] . Especially Chapter 32, "Post-Grant Opposition Procedures". It gives anyone the right to challenge a patent claim's validity within 9 months of issue, provided evidence is presented and a fee is paid. Different people can simultaneously challenge different claims, if needed.

One-Push Power Button (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365000)

Can I patent the one-push power button?

If so, noone will be able to even turn their computers ON without my consent. Muahhahahahaaaa!

What other useless patents can we come up with?

Re:One-Push Power Button (1)

Alicat1194 (970019) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365065)

Hmmmm.... how about a system whereby the pressing of a button releases water previously held in a resevoir, causing the contents of the receptacle to be forced down a series of pipes into the sewerage system?

(Finally, the dream of the flushless society is realised!)

Re:One-Push Power Button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365232)

Can I patent the one-push power button?

Nope. You just made a public disclosure of your idea. You blew it!

Re:One-Push Power Button (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365373)

Unfortunatly for you, i am in the process of patenting the placing of one's finger (or any other appendixes) in the power button.

I will have absoluto control !!!

Re:One-Push Power Button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365448)

or any other appendixes
Sorry, I already have a patent on that.

Re:One-Push Power Button (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365489)

Depending how loose your defintition of "power button" is, your patent might be going a tad too far.

Just ask the ladies...

Re:One-Push Power Button (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365535)

If I have to start turning my Windows PC on AND off with a 3-finger salute, I'm going to be VERY pissed at you for holding that patent.

Re:One-Push Power Button (1)

hobbesx (259250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365714)

I was hoping it wouldn't come to this... Looks like it's finally time for me to file these three-push power button diagrams.

Re:One-Push Power Button (1)

uniqueUser (879166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366099)

What other useless patents can we come up with?
I already have plans for a one handed masturbation method...Knowing the /. crowd, I'm going to stinking filthy rich!

Re:One-Push Power Button (1)

jzeejunk (878194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366182)

i don't know about filthy rich but that sounds like a lot of "jobs" you'll need to do on others if you patent it

Dogbert's solution (4, Funny)

asr_man (620632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366485)

I hope you all remember Dogbert's no-click patent...

"You'd better click something soon, or I'm going to have to ship you some books."

I for one... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365003)

... welcome our New Zealand patent challenging actor overlords

Good (1)

jimktrains (838227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365007)

It's about time that someone take the inititive to get patents on obvious technology examined. May this be precented for many other patents as well.

Once again, an actor comes to the rescue. (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365016)

Shades of "Team America: World Police" aside, remind me to buy a ticket to whatever this guy [imdb.com] is in next.

Re:Once again, an actor comes to the rescue. (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365461)

Might be tricky - he's been in one film, he was uncredited, and he had to wear a nasty green boiler suit. Yup, he wouldn't mind the publicity.

Bad Acting (1)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365033)

I'm going to sue the New Zealand government to force them to re-examine the citizenship of Peter Calveley after his poor acting performance when he approached me posing as a woman outside of a bar in Auckland.

Re:Bad Acting (1)

lloydtesterman (631379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365244)


It would seem to me that if you are standing outside a bar, posing as a woman, you had it coming! Of COURSE you were approached by a politician.

Recent events are leading me in one intellectual (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365043)

, highly educated and humanist perception on the patent matter, out of angst and frusturation at the behest of the greed going on around the sector :

Fuck patents

Recouping extortion/licensing fees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365047)

OK, so lets say the patent gets thrown out. What about all the other companies that were forced to pay Amazon fees to utilize this "feature"? I assume that they are just screwed as fas as any previously paid fees, though I guess they can get out of those contracts now?

Re:Recouping extortion/licensing fees (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365507)

Unfortunately, yes.

Think about it this way -- do the police and prosecutors get sent to PMITA prison if they put away an innocent man?

Not saying I like the patent (5, Interesting)

Macblaster (94623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365049)

But the reason why it was granted and why they want to defend it to the end is because it buffers against buyer's regret. How many times have you added a book to your shopping cart, only to think about it, and then remove it. With One-Click, the item is already purchased at the first click, and it would take much more effort to go and cancel the order once thought about. Ingenious idea, and probably defendable under current patent law, unless of course the entire concept of patenting buisness models is done away with.

Re:Not saying I like the patent (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365175)

So what you're saying is, that from the consumers point of view, Amazon preventing other shops from implementing 1 click is actually beneficial?

I don't know about you, but I'd rather have the chance to change my mind easily.

Re:Not saying I like the patent (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365604)

You are wrong because:
_x_ total logical disconnect.

Your arguement basically states that corruption is okay as long as it provides some benefit. That demonstrates an astounding level of audacity even the corporations haven't reached yet. Congratulations.

Re:Not saying I like the patent (1)

josh_miller (104618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365818)

It's precisely for this reason that I never use one click on Amazon. Also, I like to see an order summary with shipping costs, etc. *before* I commit to buying.

Re:Not saying I like the patent (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366361)

Ingenious idea, and probably defendable under current patent law, unless of course the entire concept of patenting buisness models is done away with.

Please explain what's ingenious about taking an action based on user input.

No, really. Go ahead.

Re:Not saying I like the patent (2, Interesting)

Macblaster (94623) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366874)

Ingenious to patent. Amazon saw their sales shoot up dramatically when they implemented the feature. Barnes and Noble, wanting to see the same result, now has to pay Amazon in order to do so, making having the buisness model and patenting the buisness model a twofold win for Amazon. Yes it's a simple matter of acting on user input, but most buisness model patents are mind numbingly simple and general, which is why I dont like the idea of them at all. Personally, I hope they're all thrown out, but because these types of patents are accepted as legal, to patent one-click was a very smart (and ingenious) move on Amazon's part.

huh (1)

vanadaar (892650) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365053)

"We look forward to working with the examiners in the Patent and Trademark Office, and we welcome the opportunity to revalidate what we believe is an important innovation in e-commerce."

important innovation as long as you are amazon.

Nice to see... (2, Informative)

Garabito (720521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365055)

In the related stories field, the original 1-click story from 1999 [slashdot.org] . It makes you feel it was just yesterday.

Re:Nice to see... (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365279)

It's so fun to read posts like this one:
Maybe this is a test case (Score:1)
by rc-flyer (20492) on Friday October 22, @06:23AM (#1594515 [slashdot.org] )
I really hope they lose. Their One-Click technology is nothing more than the use of cookies in a somewhat secure fashion, possibly coupled with some data storage on their computer. It would be really nice if the courts come out with a major statement on this regarding how silly these software patents really are.
I think I just snarfed some coffee. I had forgotten there had been a time before everyone realized our government had sold us up the river.

Blogs can be useful (4, Informative)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365058)

This is Peter's more frequently updated blog [blogspot.com] than the one linked in the article. It has an update on the reexamination request. According to Peter, "The reexamination takes aims at claim 11 and some dependent claims, which in my opinion are the broadest and most restrictive claims in the patent. If Amazon can be made to narrow them, it could allow others to implement innovative and interesting ways of shopping with "one-click" (This isn't legal or professional advice- see the disclaimer below)."

As the article points out, Peter raised the money necessary to pay the reexamination fee through donations. I don't know what his chances are of being successful, but it certainly shows that blogs can be useful in allowing more people to participate in processes that were previously mainly used by businesses. Maybe they'll raise the reexamination fee to keep up with technical progress. ;-)

It's a stupid patent, but... (2, Informative)

velophile (661890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365077)

From TFA:
Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith issued the following response Thursday: "Amazon.com remains confident in the validity of its 1-Click patent, which enables customers to shop conveniently without having to enter their shipping and billing information each time they purchase. We look forward to working with the examiners in the Patent and Trademark Office, and we welcome the opportunity to revalidate what we believe is an important innovation in e-commerce."

Who couldn't think of this stuff? There is no innovation in it all. While the current patent foolishness is problematic I think it will sort itself out in the end, because there are competitive business interests (read money) fighting over various positions on patents. Copyrights seem to be a far more dangerous issue to liberty focused individuals (read geeks) because all the cards seem stacked into the hands of the major copyright holders. The people never seem to get a fair shake anymore unless their interests coincide with that of a large corporate block.

all clicks (4, Interesting)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365086)

This was definitely one of the more stupid patents, how on earth does it make sense that you can patent an amount of clicks? So, can I go patent two-click purchases? And three-click purchases? Right on up to 1,000,000-click purchases? So that nobody can buy anything without my piece of the pie coming my way? Freakin' ridiculous.

Re:all clicks (2, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365830)

No.. One click is just the nickname for the patent. That patent covers storage of users Credit and Address info so you can order and have something delievered by a simple single click of an Order button.
(Not that this is a bad patent, but the number of clicks is more of a side effect of the system and not the system itself)

Hmm, let's see... (1)

nsmike (920396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365093)

Click in browser address bar | "www.amazon.com" | Enter Key - 1 click Click in User Name box | "loginame" | Tab | "Password" | Click Login button | - 2 clicks Click in search box | "Author Name" | Click search button - 2 clicks Click on search result | Click on "1-Click Purchase" button - 2 clicks Total number of clicks requrie to use Amazon.com's 1-Click system : 7 Time to bring a false advertising suit.

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365336)

Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film, ``The Never-Ending Story''.

-The Simpsons
"The New Kid on the Block"
http://www.snpp.com/episodes/9F06.html [snpp.com]

Re:Hmm, let's see... (1)

zorg50 (581726) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365577)

That's why it's One-Click Purchase and not One-Click-Login-and-Find-What-You-Want-and-Purchas e.

What will be the effects on licensees? (3, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365098)

If this patent is wiped out, will Amazon have to reimburse companies like Apple who have licensed the "technology"?

Re:What will be the effects on licensees? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365402)

I don't think so.

I think this issue came up at one point during the whole RIM/NTP BlackBerry conflict. There was a point at which it looked like NTP's patents were going to get thrown out, and I believe the opinion then by knowledgeable individuals was that it would not affect the previous agreements between RIM and NTP that were reached when the patents had been valid.

Perhaps there is some way for the USPTO to invalidate a patent retroactively, but I somehow doubt it. I think it only changes things going forwards, and the money that's changed hands already would stay where it is. Now perhaps (and this seems likely) some of those other companies that bought licenses might try to sue Amazon to recover a portion of their fees (they have lawyers, they'd find some reason to try), but I don't think there's any sort of automatic restitution or invalidation of previous licensing agreements that were made while the patent was valid.

It's sort of a a caveat emptor thing. The companies that licensed the patent got to use it for as long as it was valid. So in a way by licensing it, they were betting that it would remain intact for a while. If it doesn't, they lose.

That said, I don't think the patent will get overturned. I'm way too cynical at this point to believe that the USPTO would ever do something that makes that much sense, although they did invalidate the claims on that sideways-swinging patent. I suppose anything could happen. Maybe somebody tripped and hit their head hard, and forgot that they're supposed to be a revenue source and not an actual public-serving government agency.

IANAL But (1)

nead (258866) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365750)

I think any lawyer worth his salt would realize that the entire patent was bullshit and accordingly built in one or more In the event of patent invalidation, dispute etc, all fees are still be long to us into the Licenses.

Re:IANAL But (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366197)

In a perfect world, legislation would be in place that would make such a clause unenforcable, and force the company that received licensing fees to repay them with interest and penalties.

Patent on Pointer (1)

withears (881576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365099)

I have a patent on using one's index finger to point to an object, in an effort to draw the audience's attention to that object. So if you're going to point, use another finger. Otherwise, send me some bucks. Next project - using one's tongue to moisten postage stamps.

Re:Patent on Pointer (1)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365192)

I've got a finger for you...

Can this be expanded to *all* "Biz Method" patents (1)

weav (158099) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365140)

Seems to me that this is the poster child for abolishing the whole category of Business Method patents. How can it be generalized to the whole category? Can it at all?

New Zealand (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365173)

What's really sad is it took someone from New Zealand to be frustrated enough to do something about it. You'd hope with 365+ million people someone from the US would have gotten it re-examined.

Not that I'm any better. I didn't do anything about it.

Re:New Zealand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365496)

365 million? I realize Jeff Bezos probably thinks he counts twice, but the US Census Bureau [census.gov] disagrees with your number.

Re:New Zealand (0)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365619)

"This includes people whose usual residence is in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. These projections do not include members of the Armed Forces overseas, their dependents, or other U.S. citizens residing outside the United States. The projections are based on a monthly series of population estimates starting with the April 1, 2000 resident population from Census 2000."

The Census number does not include every person in the US or any US citizen living outside the US.

Re:New Zealand (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366255)

I seriously doubt there are 100 million US citizens living outside the US.
Maybe 1 million.

Re:New Zealand (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365633)

I didn't do anything either, but that included not ordering from Amazon.

Of course, Ebay isn't a beacon of corporate warm-fuzziness, and now that they own half.com I can't feel good about buying books from a giant website anymore.

One-click patent and prior art... (3, Informative)

FellowConspirator (882908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365190)

In the early-to-mid 90's I attended an "Institute of Technology" where, among other things, I took the level 1 databases course. In that course we had various projects to do, one of which was to implement an "online shopping site".

At that time, our design presumed that you'd set up your account with the retailer over the phone (mostly because we didn't want to get bogged down with the form handling, but also because the UI design was a minor part of this one assignment).

So, we did what was obvious (and what several other people came up with) -- have someone login (no cookies back then) and use the HTTP basic authentication link the session to the customer record in the database. Next to each item, there was a button that said "put it on my tab" and did just that, stuck an entry in the database saying you wanted it. There was a script that could run on a periodic basis and rolled up a list of what was on who's tab and built an order from it.

It seems to me that if a biology student taking a database class thought it was obvious then (to be fair, I had a partner who was an engineer), then it was obvious to anyone that did that sort of thing for a living. Do I have a record of the assignment? No. It never occurred to me to hold onto my old homework for more than a decade.

How can this even be subject of a patent? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15365242)

Come on.
A signle-click purchase is not a matter of intelectual property.
It is just the most logical way to sell any item over the internet, provided the user is logged in.

I mean, why would anyone NOT deploy a single-click system???
In other words... how can THERE BE a patent like that?
Can it even be enforced?

So,m what happens if I register for a patent for 2-clicks, 3-clicks and 4-clicks.
Then, the next guy who deploys an online bookstore is going to have to use 5 clicks?

That just doesn't make any sense.

I hope Amazon did not spend a nickel to fill that patente, because NOBODY should even pay attention to it.

This is just too scary when you start thinking about it.

Rui

There need to be penalties... (3, Insightful)

ZSpade (812879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365264)

There needs to be some risk for a company in getting a patent. Especially over-simplified ones like this. For instance, if it is later found out that a company received a patent on an obvious technology, business method, etc., then that company needs to pay a fine! It is obvious that they knew what they were doing.

Likewise, and especially, extortionist who obtain patents on obvious tech solely for the purpose of suing others need to pay fines, even bigger ones. Then they need to pay damages to any of the companies on which they committed this extortion on successfully.

Let's face it, fines and penalties are the only things that *might* scare large companies like this into thinking twice about getting that obvious patent, regardless of prior art or simplicity.

Re:There need to be penalties... (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366090)

Not a fine, just the legal fees of anyone they've taken to court along with returning any/all licensing fees they've been paid by others to the wronged parties, along with interest pegged to standard lending rates over the time period during which licensing was paid.

Re:There need to be penalties... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15366701)

Once AMERICA is STOPped, who'll stop Russia, China, Europe, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela...?

You?

Destroying Innovation (3, Informative)

shabushabu (961717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365290)

I know this has been discussed several times before, but let me repeat, we need this system to go soon, else countless people will have been harmed.

I work for a small startup company, we've been in existence 1 year and have only 15 people. Inspite of us working overtime everyday, we spend hours with our patent attorneys, filing patents for every small thing we do.

Reason: we might find ourselves suddenly sued by someone over infringement

We need to clean out this whole system, else all people will do is file patents and file lawsuits. Lets hope the Amazon re-examination is a precursor to bigger things.

Re:Destroying Innovation (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366314)

No, you need to see if what you are doing has already been done.
Fortunatly you can look that up. You think if someone has proof they had an idea first, they wont sue you?
Not only will abolishing patents NOT prevent you from being sued, there will be no expiration on the ideas people do have.

While business methods should be abolished, the patent system is needed.

Time for a career change. (4, Funny)

blcamp (211756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365292)


With the endless lawsuits flying around for patent infringement, challenges to existing patents, breach of contact and other "IP theft", it seems to me I'm in the wrong line of work.

Instead of writing code (the pay and benefits for which I can't complain), maybe I should probably add a law degree, sell my soul and get into the tech litigation biz. I can make tons upon tons of cash - far, far more than I am making now - and don't have to write anything (except the occasional briefs and motions). But I guess I better claim patent on the process of doing this, or I'LL get sued.

A result of (1)

kahrytan (913147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365735)

This Patent review is a result of Forbes [forbes.com] news article about eBay's "Buy it Now" patent and the Supreme Court judgement [slashdot.org] .

Software and Business Method patents need to go and be banned.

I already made my position clear about these types of bogus patents. If you don't, read my comment over here [slashdot.org] .

Considering the nature of innovation... (1)

Attis_The_Bunneh (960066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15365893)

I really think it shouldn't be patentable for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that despite the clear innovative nature of the process, it cannot be restricted like other patentable materials such as chemicals, devices, and processes to produce either chemicals or devices. The second reason is that it could be argued that Amazon's One-Click idea is not really innovative, thus just on that front, it could have been easily thrown out of the patent office.

All in all, I'm all for innovators to benefit from their work, but there comes some things the government ought not to protect, and considering how copyright has been mutated beyond the original intended use makes one wonder how long before individual words in the lexicon become controlled to a point where one must pay or ask permission to use them as well...

-- Bridget

I'm not sure who really gain for the patent system (1)

JcMorin (930466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366298)

My opinion is that patent shouldn't exist at all. The base was to protect the small from the big but with all the cost that it's implies (including lawyers...) it's mostly a war for big company. I would drop the entire system and let the company fight for quality, price and services.

News flash: Patents are for novel expressions (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366307)

not for describing how to do something that everyone is already doing.

In related news, the Vatican announces Earth is not flat.

Re:News flash: Patents are for novel expressions (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366356)

"In related news, the Vatican announces Earth is not flat."

they did that in the 1980's.

The reason why... (1)

Cantus (582758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15366698)

The reason the US gives out so many ridiculous patents is because they want to stay competitive in international technology rankings.

How sad.
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