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USPTO Examiner Rejected 1-Click Claims As "Obvious"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the well-duh dept.

Patents 195

theodp writes "Faced with a duly unimpressed USPTO examiner who rejected its new 1-Click patent claims as 'obvious' and 'old and well known,' Amazon has taken the unusual step of requesting an Oral Appeal to plead its case. And in what might be interpreted by some as an old-fashioned stalling tactic, the e-tailer has also canceled and refiled its 1-Click claims in a continuation application. As it touted the novelty of 1-Click to Congress last spring, Amazon kept the examiner's rejection under its hat, insisting that 'still no [1-Click] prior art has surfaced.' The Judiciary Committee hearing this testimony included Rick Boucher (VA) and Howard Berman (CA), both recipients of campaign contributions from a PAC funded by 1-Click inventor Jeff Bezos, other Amazon execs, and their families."

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195 comments

Computers automate work (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126587)

Probably 99% of patents where computers do work that could be done tediously and manually should be shot down.

Re:Computers automate work (5, Interesting)

fmstasi (659633) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127033)

No, all software patents should be shot down. Patents should only be given to inventions which operate in the physical world — mechanical devices, tools, electronic equipment, and so on. Patenting software is (more or less) patenting algorithms, and therefore to patenting mathematics; on the other hand, research works much better if information is shared freely. Also, software is already covered by copyright, so protecting it with patents also is overkill. Also... well, there are many reasons why software patents are a terrible idea. Everybody with an interest more than casual in the subject whould get familiar with the arguments given in http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/ [nosoftwarepatents.com].

Re:Computers automate work (4, Insightful)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127697)

A computer is a general-purpose machine. A computer's purpose is to process an organized collection of instructions to do a specific thing. These instructions are called "software". A computer without software is a doorstop. Patenting a particular collection of instructions (even if they do something really, really interesting) is, in effect, patenting the use of a thing for its intended purpose.

It would be akin to patenting "a method for dialling my phone number" and then going after royalties every time my phone rings. Or "a method for using an automobile to get to work" and suing everyone in rushhour traffic.

Re:Computers automate work (2, Insightful)

crc32 (133399) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128243)

Under your logic, nothing at all could be patented. After all, a gear is an "instruction" for the conversion or translation of angular motion. All machines are merely sets of instructions, at some level of abstraction. Patents are designed to cover the use of things. See section 101 of the patent act. PS: This is not to say that software patents are good/bad for other reasons.

Re:Computers automate work (1, Flamebait)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128375)

Under your logic, nothing at all could be patented.

This may be showing my hand a bit, but I don't think that would bother me. I am not an advocate for completely abolishing patents, though such folks do exist. I'm more of an agnostic on the point.

After all, a gear is an "instruction" for the conversion or translation of angular motion. All machines are merely sets of instructions, at some level of abstraction.

Oh, come off it. This is the most tortured argument - look, at some level of abstraction, I am a walrus. KooKooKachoo. At some level of detail, I am not. I suppose you have trouble distinguishing a real car from a Gran Turismo disc?

Re:Computers automate work (3, Interesting)

ancientt (569920) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128841)

Level of abstraction? Okay, explain how you're a walrus.

Software patents make as much sense as mechanical patents because both cover how to change something in one state to something that might be more useful in a different state. The usefulness of the patent is up for debate as it would be in any new industry, as is the innovation. The debatable questions are whether the innovation that goes into creating something that is novel in software deserves a patent, and whether allowing patents in software is good for society. Once those questions are sufficiently answered there will always be the secondary questions of a particular patent's worthiness, but it will be far easier to answer.

Re:Computers automate work (4, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128661)

That argument doesn't quite hold up.

Discrete machine elements are the means to execute an instruction, not the instruction itself.

The gear or linkage is the element that enables execution of the instructions and should be patentable. The speed, position or displacement of the gear is the instruction and should not be patentable. To get a different output for the same input, you must alter the elements to the extent that it can no longer be considered the same device. Unique devices can qualify for a patent.

The transistor is the element that enables execution of instructions and should be patentable. The state of charge on a transistor is the instruction and should not be patentable. To get a different output for the same input, you need only change the state of charge on the transistors* - but the physical state of the machine is identical.

The important distinction is the seperation of the physical device and it's purpose from the conditions it operates under. Two devices that serve the same purpose but are physically unique should be patentable. Two devices that are physically identical but used for different purposes should be patentable.** Altering the operating conditions of the same device to get a different result is obvious and should not be patentable.

=Smidge=

* - Does not count things like a new circuit design, which would produce a unique device and thus be patentable.

** - Providing that new use is not particularly "obvious."

Re:Computers automate work (1)

jbuda123 (1022623) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128977)

.. Or not allowing patents on anything made from steel because, after all, steel is just a doorstop unless you make something from it.

How does the /. community feel about computer hardware patents? Computer hardware is undoubtedly physical, which should satisfy the parent's parent's concern about patenting physical inventions. But most (digital) chips these days are designed not in schematic form but in hardware description languages (HDLs), which are essentially programming languages. From a given HDL description, commercial tools are used to convert them eventually into a GDSII layout - which would most closely resemble what most people would think of as a chip "blueprint" if there was one - before being turned into the various masks used in silicon fabrication. A patent on the physical chip without a patent on the underlying HDL description would make the patent useless because all of the non-obvious R&D is in the HDL "program".

The point is that software in all forms is really just a blueprint. Whether that blueprint is in a software language like C, a hardware description language like Verilog or a CAD package like Pro/E doesn't change the fact that it's still a blueprint. And blueprints should be patentable.

Now if the issue is whether most existing software patents should've been granted, that's a different story. But that's not the same as saying that software as a concept should not be patentable, which seems to be the point around here.

Re:Computers automate work (3, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127723)

No, all software patents should be shot down. Patents should only be given to inventions which operate in the physical world.

Software can operate in the physical world. That's why the USPTO started allowing software patents in 1981. Anyways, I like the europeean take on software patents, which says that "any invention which makes a non-obvious "technical contribution" or solves a "technical problem" in a non-obvious way is patentable even if a computer program is used in the invention." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patent#In_Eu rope [wikipedia.org]

I just don't see anyone can be against that.

Re:Computers automate work (5, Insightful)

fmstasi (659633) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127833)

Well, that's the beauty of Wikipedia: I read the section of the article you quoted, and in this case I don't trust the author. Here is the text of the cited Article 52 (http://www.european-patent-office.org/legal/epc/e /ar52.html):

Article 52
Patentable inventions
(1) European patents shall be granted for any inventions which are susceptible of industrial application, which are new and which involve an inventive step.
(2) The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of paragraph 1:
(a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
(b) aesthetic creations;
(c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;
(d) presentations of information.
(3) The provisions of paragraph 2 shall exclude patentability of the subject-matter or activities referred to in that provision only to the extent to which a European patent application or European patent relates to such subject-matter or activities as such.
(4) Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body shall not be regarded as inventions which are susceptible of industrial application within the meaning of paragraph 1. This provision shall not apply to products, in particular substances or compositions, for use in any of these methods.

So, "programs for computers" (and algorithms, mind you) are not patentable, period. IF you use a program for computers in a LARGER system, the system as a whole is (maybe) patentable. The point is not whether you solve a "technical problem" with the program; what else could you be doing, turning the computer's fingers?...

Re:Computers automate work (2, Informative)

kthejoker (931838) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128489)

It means if you invent a new automated welder, which relies on computer input to produce its output (but also does the actual welding), then this program in tandem with the welder would be considered a patentable device.

It basically means that just because something uses a computer program doesn't mean it's *not* patentable. It's something you have to think about for a second, but it makes sense. It lets people patent things like ATMs, printers, and electronic parking meters.

Re:Computers automate work (2, Interesting)

fmstasi (659633) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128565)

Right. It also means that you are patenting the device, not the program; so, if you patent an innovative device, which uses an innovative program, the program itself is not patented.
In theory, at least.

Re:Computers automate work (3, Insightful)

dosquatch (924618) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128257)

That's why the USPTO started allowing software patents in 1981.

Technically, they didn't. Software is not, nor has it ever been, patentable as software. Software patents all come in under the ruling that allows business methods to be patented. That's why they all begin "A method for [...]" and go to such lingual gymnastics to avoid using the word "algorithm" ever.

It might seem that this point is splitting a hair, but this happens to be a very important hair.

Re:Computers automate work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19128807)

but it is not the software itself that is patentable, but the invention that uses it. read your quote again.

Re:Computers automate work (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128083)

> No, all software patents should be shot down. > Patents should only be given to inventions which operate in the physical world I agree, but it's too late to change the books now. There are a lot of US companies with zillions of dollars invested in their patent claims. Do you really expect the USPTO to say "Ok, we see now. All these software patents are mathematical algorithms and cannot be patented. Null and void everybody."? Besides, Microsoft has been buying them up like cheap hookers for the past couple years and they're not about to stop. It's likely their Next Big Thing.

Re:Computers automate work (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128643)

The USPTO won't, but the Supreme Court has to uphold software patents. Even though these patents have been granted since 1981, never before has the US Supreme Court upheld one. Therefore someone with the balls and money willing to fight a patent all the way to the Supreme Court could void every single software patent. Unfortunately anyone with that much money probably has software patents of their own, and so have an incentive to settle.

Re:Computers automate work (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128189)

Why is patenting Algorithms/Mathematics any different than patenting Methods/Actions?

Re:Computers automate work (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19128843)

Dear idiot:

Your father wrote this fantastic accounting program that will change the face of accounting forever. He's set to make enough money to put everyone in your family through college, and along the way, donate a few million to help cure cancer.

Ooops. Here comes Microsoft with a program that looks, acts, and feels EXACTLY the same. Microsoft makes millions and millions. Your father makes... nothing. You get nothing. Your father hires a lawyer, spends hundreds of thousands of dollars chasing Microsoft around in court, Microsoft gets away without paying a dime.
 
That's what life would be like without software patents.
Thieves in Europe, Asia, and Africa would be out on the street corner, selling your father's livelihood for $1.00 and no one would care, no one would stop them. Why? Because you think software patents are needless.

The truth is, there's a line that needs to be drawn, and companies like Amazon and Microsoft don't want that line, they want to patent everything, including the method for breathing while browsing their websites. What really needs to happen is a panel sits together and says, "Obvious and NOT patentable" or "Very unique, well worth a patent." And then put a limit on software patents. 4 years. 4 years gives them enough time to market their software, or license it to those who will.

The problem with this is that the lawyers will never agree to it because it will reduce the importance of the law, and lawyers will NOT want to see their role diminish. That is the one huge flaw in this country. It's the same reason we don't have tax reform. There are too many tax lawyers' livelihoods that depend on the complexity of the tax system. For decades, economists have said that a flat tax would be beneficial, yet the tax accountants and their paid off legislators with high school educations (or college degrees in underwater basketweaving) insist that without their wisdom, the tax system would fall apart if shifted to a flat tax.

Regardless, our politicians and bureaucrats aren't smart enough to change the system. They're only willing to take election money to get re-elected, and there's not enough money in the patent reform issue to get re-elected.

wtf? (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126591)

'still no [1-Click] prior art has surfaced.'

How can something surface when you're actively trying to drown it?

Re:wtf? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126643)

09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0

Re:wtf? (1, Offtopic)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127483)

To moderators: The Parent isn't offtopic. It's an example of something which is very actively tried to drown, and yet surfaced quite visibly.

Re:wtf? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19129001)

Don't even try dude, slashdot mods are fags

Re:wtf? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126749)

They may be trying that, but there's been lots of cases where users are to click an area of a web page. :-p

There are a lot of surfaces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19127215)

How can something surface when you're actively trying to drown it?
Of course it can surface. The bottom of the ocean is a surface.

Re:wtf? (2, Funny)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128181)

You want prior art for 1 click? What about those old-style vending machines - you only had to press the button once to get the chocolate bar or can of soda. I say old-style because the new ones need 98 keypresses and a working knowledge of XML to get anything out of them. I guess that's progress.

Re:wtf? (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128963)

You want prior art for 1 click? What about those old-style vending machines - you only had to press the button once to get the chocolate bar or can of soda.

What they didn't do was remember your credit card details to charge you on and recognise you via a token that you presented back to them as identification when you wanted to complete a transaction. These are important parts of Amazon's patent that would have to be present for something to be prior art. #

I thought when you mentioned vending machines that you might be thinking of Klix Key [datakeyelectronics.com], but that is apparently a prepayment token system, with records of the amount of money deposited stored on the token, which is probably different enough that it doesn't count. Amazon's implementation is certainly significantly improved from a resistence-to-fraud standpoint, which may be enough to allow Amazon's patent even if this is considered prior art. I'm also not certain that it predates Amazon's one-click implementation.

Because there need not be any "prior art"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19128979)

...when something is OBVIOUS.

I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (5, Insightful)

burris (122191) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126635)

Back in '95 or '96. We all thought it was so plainly obvious. In fact, the key thing that makes one-click shopping possible, the browser cookie, was put into the browser specifically for the purpose of associating a browser/session with stored data on the back end (payment/shipping details, purchase list.) The reason nobody did it is because engineers thought it was a BAD IDEA. Forcing people to enter their credit card and billing address details was a form of SECURITY. Being able to purchase things with one click was just too easy. Someone could come up to your computer and ring up a bunch of charges. Keeping payment details for thousands of customers on your computer was deemed too large a risk. It wasn't until the Marketeers at Amazon thought this was a good idea that it came about.

However, I think the fact that the cookie support was already in the browser is proof that the claims of the patent were obvious.

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (5, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126665)

Well if what you say is true, no one should really complain if no one but Amazon can do it. After all, its a bad idea.

Just sayin'.

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (2, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126813)

...and the fox turned as he walked away, muttering "damn grapes were probably sour anyway."

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (4, Insightful)

FST777 (913657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127037)

This patent is not the point. Software patents in general are the point. Especially those which are so patently obvious that any examiner who deems it patentable should be taken out and shot.

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19127525)

patents in general are the point. Especially those which are so patently obvious

Ah, quite right. Very witty, Wilde. Good show.

Is 1-click a software patent? (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128887)

Is "1-click purchasing" even a software patent? I would think that it would be considered a business process patent. A "software design to implement 1-click purchasing" would be a software patent (and would be easily avoidable by developing a different software design to implement 1-click purchasing; the beauty of software is there's a million different ways to do anything).

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (3, Insightful)

el americano (799629) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127553)

I tried this feature once. My order was promptly shipped to a prior address. I guess there's more than one reason to have an intermediate step before confirming the order.

One click is now turned off for me.
I wonder if that's part of the patent, "AND you can turn it off. Oooooh."

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128533)

I accidentally did it once with their TivoToGo Unbox deal- it promptly went to my computer and refused to let me also put it on the TiVo. I ended up getting a refund, but it took two days, so much for watching the movie that night.

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128455)

I live at a software patent free land. And I've never saw a 1 click buy on any shop but Amazon. It is a bad idea.

Prople are probably bothered because they elected that patent to represent all absurd software patents. It's a symbol, it's so obviously wrong that they can point at it and complain.

People WERE DOING IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126717)

Click to buy was in everything that had pre-login, remember when you went to the travel agent and she'd ordered you a holiday? Do you think she entered her details each time?!
Remember Minitel where you were billed on your credit card when you clicked buy?

It was obvious, and it was done.

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (3, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126789)

Forcing people to enter their credit card and billing address details was a form of SECURITY.

It seems you're using security as an argument against implementing 1-click. If thats the case, the argument isn't very well thought out. Even without 1-click, most sites offer to save your credit card and billing address, so it's just a matter of selecting which credit card to use without typing it in again. Furthermore, if someone comes up to your computer and rings up a bunch of stuff with 1-click, (a) the stuff's coming to your address anyway so they better be snooping your postal mail too (b) they would have to be authenticated with a username/password first to establish the cookie/session, unless you're in the habit of leaving un-expired sessions open on a public terminal and (c) if they had (b), they could do exactly the same thing without 1-click with ... TADA... just a few more clicks and your saved billing info!

So it seems your reasons for not pioneering 1-click have more to do with saving credit/billing information on your own supposedly secure server rather than with the idea of 1-click itself. I don't see how that translates to 1-click being a BAD IDEA.

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127469)

So it seems your reasons for not pioneering 1-click have more to do with saving credit/billing information on your own supposedly secure server rather than with the idea of 1-click itself. I don't see how that translates to 1-click being a BAD IDEA.
Um. Because 1 click requires one to store the credit card information in database.

OK, try to follow me here. If it's not a great idea to store credit card information in a potentially [bbc.co.uk]exploitable database [washingtonpost.com] and 1-click requires said store of credit card information in said http://news.com.com/2100-1023-236815.html [com.com]">exploit able database it follows that 1-click is a bad idea.

This is what is often called logic.

 

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 6 years ago | (#19129017)

1 click requires one to store the credit card information in database.

Only in as much as the credit card information must be stored in a database somewhere /anyway/. Many payment service providers (i.e., the people who keep your card on their database whatever the vendor does with it) offer a repeat billing service. They're not hard to use. I have never heard of a reputable payment service provider being hacked.

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (2, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126839)

The reason nobody did it is because engineers thought it was a BAD IDEA.

I think the 1-click patent is a crock for many reasons, but to play devils advocate here: this point actually undermines the obvious argument, because it suggests that people in the field thought it could not be done. When prior art teaches _away_ from doing something in a particular way, and the patent in question finds a way to "make it work" in spite of that, then the solution is likely to be deemed non-obvious. From the Teleflex ruling;

The Court relied upon the corollary principle that when the prior art teaches away from combining certain known elements, discovery of a successful means of combining them is more likely to be nonobvious. Id., at 51-52. When Adams designed his battery, the prior art warned that risks were involved in using the types of electrodes he employed. The fact that the elements worked together in an unexpected and fruit-ful manner supported the conclusion that Adams's design
was not obvious to those skilled in the art

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (3, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127145)

The reason nobody did it is because engineers thought it was a BAD IDEA. I think the 1-click patent is a crock for many reasons, but to play devils advocate here: this point actually undermines the obvious argument, because it suggests that people in the field thought it could not be done. When prior art teaches _away_ from doing something in a particular way, and the patent in question finds a way to "make it work" in spite of that, then the solution is likely to be deemed non-obvious. From the Teleflex ruling;

Not really. It's different to say that people in a field to know how something could work and consciously decide it SHOULD NOT be done than to think that something CAN NOT be done.

One-click is obvious, from a marketing/business method point of view. From a technological point of view, the way it can be done is obvious. It is at the point of risk assessment, "is the technology safe", where enginners would conclude it should not be done, despite it being an obvious system.

Amazon's patent is not about a way of making one-click secure or safe. It is insecure, and it suffers from the problems that would lead engineers to believe it should not be done. It is risky in the sense that if you leave a browser open, your 12-year old could possibly get on your computer, find some $1000 product they want, hit the one-click buy, and complete an order using your saved credentials. Or if your next door neighbor figures out your one-click-site password, they could possibly one-click order some toy, and intercept the delivery.

It was just as much a security risk back then as it is today, and just as obvious then as today. The difference is, since one site chooses to do it, customers require it now -- they know how to complete a transaction on Amazon, due to the site's popularity, and their familiarity with the process. Over time, people have come to accept that it's OK to save their CC information with a website, DESPITE the substantial risk of id theft involved in allowing any merchant to retain that sort of information.

If customers have to enter their details on other sites, repeatedly, then they will be inconvenienced, so without considering the security implications: they will tend to stay with the sites that save their credentials, because it provides an upfront convenience, and the customers aren't thinking who use one-click aren't thinking enough about the security. Customers don't tend to think these things through, they offer a competitive advantage, despite the defects.

Certainly Amazon does not advertise one-click can possibly pose a security risk, despite the fact that it may.

Re:I remember hearing about the 1 click patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19127707)

The reason "1-click" is bad idea is that it makes placing unintentional orders too easy. No seller likes returns or ship an order that is likely going to be returned on the basis that the click was accidental. That's what 1-click does. My guess is that Amazon is betting that books are cheap and/or good enough that many sellers will not bother returning accidental 1-click orders.

No sensible person would use the 1-click feature. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127985)

"I remember hearing about the 1 click patent. Back in '95 or '96. We all thought it was so plainly obvious."

So, basically, Amazon has had 11 years of patent protection by delaying final action on the patent application? I've heard that Amazon has been vigorously defending its "property", and scaring away people who implement the same thing without realizing it is the object of litigation.

At a time of unprecedented corruption in the U.S. government, Jeff Bezos is vigorously trying to corrupt the government. I guess billionaires believe the world should revolve around them.

Note that no sensible person would use the 1-click feature, for reasons discussed in several comments here. What Amazon wants, effectively, is people who are not sensible about money. And why? Because Jeff Bezos is not happy with the billions he already has.

Adversarial behavior eventually destroys those who engage in it. Consider Bill Gates and his depression, for example.

Re:No sensible person would use the 1-click featur (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128605)

98% of people(I just made that up...) who use one click have no idea of whether there is a trojan running on their computer; putting one click on top of the risk of getting credit card details intercepted by malware isn't that big a deal.

You would also do well not to make so many deep assumptions about people you simply don't know. I'm pretty sure anybody who is still busting ass after they have $100 million is not doing it for greed, they are doing it because it's what they have fun doing, and it's what they are extremely good at.

No prior art is hand waving (4, Insightful)

Wizarth (785742) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126637)

"No prior art" is being waved about as being the only significant aspect, and they are hoping no-one realizes the patent was rejected due to being obvious (or, not non-obvious).

As prior art is the usual counter-argument to patents, since it can be clearly proven to someone without expertise in the field, it seems unusual that one has actually been rejected due to being obvious. And since people are so used to hearing about prior art being the significant factor, it may sway a few people.

Re:No prior art is hand waving (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126697)

True in the past, but the tides have started to turn as of the Teleflex ruling. Obviousness has for a long time been very difficult to show because the courts had used a too rigid definition. However, SCOTUS has said that merely using components in a way that their combination yields only the expected result could be sufficient, and has also encouraged the use of "common sense" in determining obviousness, as opposed to the very narrow test. I hope to see a lot more BS patents like this invalidated in the coming years.

Re:No prior art is hand waving (1)

asninn (1071320) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127217)

Indeed - mod parent up! Prior art is sufficient to invalidate a patent, but it's in no way necessary.

Prior art or not (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126661)

If something is SO obvious that any moron can come up with it, it deserves no patent.

Patents exist so investition in research and development can be reimbused. If you have no expense for research and development, you deserve no patent.

Re:Prior art or not (4, Informative)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126975)

If something is SO obvious that any moron can come up with it, it deserves no patent.

Actually it is even broader than that. A patent is considered obvious if not merely a moron, but even someone having ordinary skill in the relevant field, could have been expected to come up with the same solution.

Patents exist so investition in research and development can be reimbused.

Not quite. They exist to encourage invention, by securing the inventors exclusive right to produce his inventions. If the inventor happens to have some sunk costs then he might be better able to recover them by having a patent, but that is incidental.

If you have no expense for research and development, you deserve no patent.

So what if an idea comes by a stroke of pure genius?

Non-obvious enough to require substantial research (1)

anandsr (148302) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127695)

Actually the idea is (or at least should be) that patent should be awarded to those ideas that will require some amount of research to re-search it. If an idea is so obvious that you (being an expert in the field) don't need to spend a few months searching for it then there is no case for patenting it.

Obviously a person hitting on an idea just by a stroke of genius is still covered because another expert in the same field without the stroke of genius would still need to spend a few months of effort to find it.

One click and "originality" (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127711)

One click is an interesting case. It is certainly the kind of thing someody would consider in streamlining the checkout process.

The thing that makes it interesting is that it has dubious utility.

The one click patent is not quite as dreadful as the "do X which has been done forever but over a wireless network" patents, but it shares features with them. It's really the Internet which gave this trivial idea any life at all.

It is class of problem one click represents that is the problem: business patents. One click removes one tool that rightly belongs in the business method toolbox although not the most important and useful, by any means. In aggregate this reduces business competitiveness.

Re:Prior art or not (5, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127229)

Patents exist so investition in research and development can be reimbused
no they exist (at least under the american system) primerally to discourage trade secrets. You give your invention to the public in exchange for getting a time limited (and unlike copyrights patent time limits havn't exactly spiraled out of control) monopoly on the invention. Whether your idea is the result of years of R&D or a stroke of genius isn't really relavent.

sadly the system has been abused in a number of ways
1: obviousness: many patents give soloutions that would be obvious when presented with the problem. This means that next time someone runs into that problem they either have to pay the patent holder a license fee (if the patent holder will even accept one), take the legal risk of ignoring the patent or try and find a less obvious (and possiblly less efficiant) soloution to the same problem.
2: prior art: again the system has been very poor at recognising prior art leading to people getting and keeping patents for things that are already public.
3: areas patentable: a number of new areas (software, buisness methods) were made patentable by court descisions bypassing the normal procedures of governement. Now other countries are being pressured into making those things patentable as well. The lack of patented prior art (which is all the PTO seems to care about) means theese areas suffer from 1 and 2 far more than other areas.

Re:Prior art or not (1)

MartinB (51897) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127693)

You give your invention to the public in exchange for getting a time limited (and unlike copyrights patent time limits havn't exactly spiraled out of control) monopoly on the invention.
True, the time limit hasn't been as problematic as for copyrights. However, relative to the purpose, the time limit has spiraled out of control.

The pace of technological change has significantly shrunk the commercially viable time period of any given IT innovation, particularly in software. For all useful purposes, the Patent monopoly is 'for all time' as by the time it expires, few people will be using the Patented innovation for anything beyond legacy support.

So regardless of whether SW Patents are effectively patents on algorithms (and therefore should not be Patentable), they are not fit for declared purpose.

Standard Patent Prosecution Procedure (4, Insightful)

aimless (311570) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126723)

Nothing Mentioned here is out of the ordinary. All applications are rejected at least once...if it is not rejected your council has done something terribly wrong and drawn narrow-scope claims that will not yield any protection or competitive advantage. Cancellation and continuation are standard strategy as well. It would be more interesting to find that they were given a divisional; implying validity.

I thought the one-click patent was brought to its knees by the /. community riding on the back of an old ski-lift ticket system as prior art.

-A

Re:Standard Patent Prosecution Procedure (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126833)

Mostly correct and I am glad someone said it, but ... minor point
It would be more interesting to find that they were given a divisional; implying validity.
Actually a divisional (aka a restriction requirement) says absolutely nothing about validity. What it says is you have a lot of claims in your application and the Examiner isn't going to be bothered to look at all of them. Split the application into multiple applications (so the Examiner gets more points, and the PTO more money) and then they'll look at the claims.

Yes, pretty much everything gets a 103 (obvious) rejection. Sometimes this only means your Examiner put all your key words into a search engine and cited 5 unrelated pieces of prior art against you (i.e. the lazy Examiner). Sometimes, the 103 is well done. Merely telling me you have a 103 rejection tells me little.

A continuation isn't a stalling tactic. It is a way to get better claims with the same filing date as the original, but after getting a look at the cited prior art. Perfectly normal. In fact, you often use a continuation with a "bird in the hand" strategy. You take the claims the Examiner allows in the parent application (which then issue as a patent), and then continue to argue the unallowed claims in the continuation. There is no stalling. Actually, a continuation is quicker than an appeal.

I am glad to see an Examiner taking Official Notice. They do it rarely and even more rarely do it correctly. There is a correct way to take Official Notice and so few Examiner's follow it.

Also the Oral Hearing in the Appeal is unusual, but something they are allowed by right. What is usual is waiving that right and just not showing up. But if Amazon has DC based attorneys, the PTO is just down the road.

Re:Standard Patent Prosecution Procedure (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 6 years ago | (#19129077)

I have to admit to feeling just a bit creeped out by how much thought obviously goes into gaming the Patent system just based on the previous two postings. Yes, I understand why getting rejected for obviousness is expected - you want to make claims as broad as possible and only narrow them when forced to do so. However by doing so it's also obvious why the Patent Office is so overworked and buried in applications - submitters are gaming the system by forcing multiple examinations ni order to get the broadest Patents possible.

Might we perhaps come up with a one or two strikes rule? Something along the lines of "submit this piece of overlly broad crap more than X number of times and it will be rejected out of hand for all time"? That would force submitters to be more careful and lower the burden on the PTO.

Also, using this system to extend dates using appeals and extensions is a bit slimey too IMO. Submitting knowing you will be rejected but get some sort of protection from first submssion date is what seems to be going on, ick. In addition by virtue of some things being allowed and others not it's like shotgunning ideas and making the PTO be the ones to try and filter the wheat from chaff - again adding work to the examiners. Shouldn't the submitter be forced to be a bit more focused than that? Or are we all okay with someone simlpy submitting whacky idea after whacky idea hoping to get something through or run out of money while trying?

I believe we need patents and I've said as much before when this has come up. But overlly broad patents hurt innovators and software patents are crippling. Frankly I'd hate to try and sit down to write code for a "new" commercial product. The chances of being able to write anything right now and not find out later on down the road that you had somehow infringed on something you had no idea about when you wrote your code seem pretty slim.

Boucher no slouch (3, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126751)

That jab at Boucher is probably unfounded. He's definitely concerned about "IP" laws run amok, contributions notwithstanding.

Re:Boucher no slouch (2, Insightful)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127993)

This is Slashdot, where you can be praised to the stars one week and subject to "Two Minute Hate" the next. As far as contributions go, the conventional "wisdom" is that they always corrupt, no exceptions. Therefore, we should only elect people who have enough money to afford the election. Wait, no, we should never allow people to contribute to campaigns. No, wait, wait, we should only allow campaign contributions from the "right" people. Hm, well, we should all be taxed to pay for anyone and everyone who wants to run for office. Um, that is, not *everyone* or *anyone*, only the ones who "qualify" to run.

Anyway, Boucher is now one of the "bad guys" because he took money from the current "bad guys". Next week we will be at war with Eastasia again...

Oral appeal? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126765)

"Oral appeal" sounds so...slutty!

I never understood why they call these things "oral." "Oral report," "oral appeal."
Shouldn't it be "vocal?"

Re:Oral appeal? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126809)

Perhaps the term existed before you started jerking off to gay porn?

Re:Oral appeal? (1, Informative)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128545)

Your post is modded as funny, but I wasn't sure whether your question was serious or not...

Oral [chambersharrap.co.uk]...ETYMOLOGY: 17c: from Latin oralis, from os, oris mouth

This FP foir4 GNAA? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126791)

and/or diPstribMute

Download full PDF of prosecution history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126795)

Go to the PTO web site here [uspto.gov]

Type serial number 09318447

Single click on "search".

Single click on "image file wrapper".

If someone braver than me wants to host the PDF, feel free.

it should be "braver than I" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126877)

because you would say "braver than I am".

There is prior art (5, Interesting)

jkechel (1101181) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126819)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_Crisis [wikipedia.org] .. this game is from 1993, and you can buy in-game things with only one click. DONE

Re:There is prior art (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127819)

Hahaha... That is just win. I'm sure there are plenty more games than that one that demonstrate 'prior art' as well.

I mean really, can someone tell me when we've been able to patent stupid things like using mouse clicks and moving a mouse around the keyboard, etc... This is probably one of the poster child for why software patents should not be permitted.

So did the Jetsons (2, Interesting)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127999)

Somehow I guess the IT geeks that write the patents forget that they got their ideas as 5 year olds watching the Jetsons and seeing
them buy stuff on a 200inch plasma screen using voice recognition to the virtual shopping channel.

A TV show can be prior art as it showcases the concept and idea perfectly so that even a 5 year old can understand it let alone a CEO earning $6m dollars.

Re:There is prior art (1, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128713)

Please RTFP. One-click isn't just "buy stuff with one click", and I'm tired of hearing people rail on it without at least understanding what it is.

The patent's claims are specifically for storing payment and shipping information so that a one-click transaction can be done. It's a narrow scope, and I don't think anyone has shown prior art for the limited situations it applies to. So IMO Amazon did invent *something*.

What I think needs to be questioned is if that specific, limited scope is significant and non-obvious enough of an invention to deserve a patent.

Re: There is prior art (2, Interesting)

jkechel (1101181) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128899)

I know that the patent has a narrow scope, that's exactly why I proposed a browser-based game as prior art:
1. its under control of a client
2. provides information about the item (you can see what you want to buy including a descriptive name)
3. only one action, that's the 1-click, by simply clicking on that item (also known in many many newer games like Command&Conquer where you buy&build by one click on a item)
4. organising further informations about the user -> that's keeping track of you current score/stats in the game
5. creating a 'order' .. well, simply DO assign the item to the user
6. Not using a shopping-cart .. well, i don't know a single game using a shopping cart :)

so, now please compare this to the patent itself: http://www.google.com/patents?id=O2YXAAAAEBAJ&dq=5 ,960,411 [google.com]

-- cut --
1. A method of placing an order for an item comprising:

        under control of a client system,

                displaying information identifying the item; and
                in response to only a single action being performed, sending a request to order the item along with an identifier of a purchaser of the item to a server system;

        under control of a single-action ordering component of the server system,

                receiving the request;
                retrieving additional information previously stored for the purchaser identified by the identifier in the received request; and

        generating an order to purchase the requested item for the purchaser identified by the identifier in the received request using the retrieved additional information; and
        fulfilling the generated order to complete purchase of the item
        whereby the item is ordered without using a shopping cart ordering model.

-- end cut --

Re:There is prior art (1)

Dausha (546002) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128721)

Yes, a work of fiction has described a technological innovation. However, fiction is not considered relevant for prior art. Among other things, it does not describe something in sufficient detail to educate the reader how it works. Try getting a Star Trek transporter to work. Second, it's fiction, so it's not "credible." However, as we see from flip phones, it does inspire engineers.

"Put it on my tab" (5, Insightful)

dfoulger (1044592) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126857)

One-click has been around as long as bartenders have been extending credit to known customers, but I suppose you can't see prior art rising when its obscured by a head of foam.

Re:"Put it on my tab" (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126995)

C'mon, parent deserves better than a "Funny" mod. This really has some insight.

Re:"Put it on my tab" (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19127245)

There was a company (And still is) that had a patent on using the "*" and "#" key on your phone, but, only when calling Directory Assistance. Called "Metro One" (NASDAQ:INFO if they aren't delisted).

Now, if Obvious was somehow forgotten in the world of telephony, I don't know what is in the rest of the world. But they had the patent based on "business process". How is using the * key different for a person calling 411 vs calling the local Energy company, or their own PBX? I don't know.

But, they actually won a lawsuit after a competitor in the "411" business allowed their own customers to use the * and # keys on the DTMF phones (and DTMF tones were designed to allow for systems to interpret them for custom needs, with no specified control... so.. yea...) And they won!

This is another case of very very very very very bad Patent law.

Re:"Put it on my tab" (1)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127971)

I don't know if you were going for funny, but as you got insightful... it might seem logical, but it is not how the patent system works. An idea in on field that is well know can be patented when applied to another field. For instance, if there was some well known technique used in tape drives and you thought of a way to use it in disc drives, you could patent that.

Re:"Put it on my tab" (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128799)

No, you clank your glass for a new beer... that's the one-clank purchase method.

This patent is for one-click purchasing, which is an entirely new idea. Honest.

What is it they're fighting to protect? (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126865)

When I see something like this come around again and again, I've got to wonder about it. I mean, how valuable is this "one click" patent, anyway? As noted up the page a bit, it's not necessarily a great idea, and it's also unclear how Amazon plans to make even one thin dime from this patent.

Most folks like to confirm a purchase rather than have one click buy something; it protects against simple mistakes and allows them a chance to back out if the terms aren't what they were expecting.

It's a simple thing to work around; just add an "are you sure?" prompt and you've bypassed this patent. Given the obvious nature of the patent and the limited profit potential - why put so much time and money into defending it?

I'm sure Mr. Bezos isn't a stupid person. But sometimes I've got to wonder...

Complete the following sentence: (1)

s-gen (890660) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127153)

"If I got a penny for every time someone bought something online..."

Anticompetitive play (1)

CandyMan (15493) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127243)

> it's also unclear how Amazon plans to make even one thin dime from this patent.

Software patents are damaging because they hamper competition. Using the monopoly granted by the patent office, Amazon can forbid other retailers to implement a one-click-buy system, thereby denying the public of the usefulness of cookies (regardless of how good we think keeping all of a client's info in the server is).

Re:What is it they're fighting to protect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19128249)

"You are attempting to purchase a product online with a single click. Cancel or Allow?"

Re:What is it they're fighting to protect? (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128251)

The "value" of patents to most companies is that they can tell their investors and shareholders they have one. It lulls those stakeholders into feeling that the business has a way of defending itself against would-be copycats.

The rejection will be overturned. (1)

sometwo (53041) | more than 6 years ago | (#19126883)

I don't like it one bit but this rejection will be overturned. The judges look at the record as a whole to determine if the examiner made a prima facie (on the face) case for obviousness. He does quite a bit of saying "it's obvious" with no reasons. The appeals board will have no choice but to tell the examiner to try again with a different strategy.

What question to ask Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19127611)

1) If you don't get a patent, will you fail to implement 1-click?
2) If you implement 1-click without patent, can you keep it secret?
3) If you can't keep it secret, what is the public getting for their promise not to take your idea?

Other questions to ask:

a) Will you continue to use 1-click even without patent protection?
b) Will you continue to have copyright on your implementation of 1-click?
c) Will you continue to make money without 1-click protected?
d) Will this be more profit than you would make if you hadn't gotten patent protection?

D) is quite important: if this is true but a patent is still wanted, then all Amazon want is the money from a patent application being licensed. If an acceptable reason for a patent is "I want to be able to get moenyt from licening the patent", then there is no reason to deny patents on ANYTHING. Patent the addition algorithm. Patent E=mc2 and license it to the nuclear industry. Hey, without this, the patenter cannot get money from patent licensees and that is damaging their profitabiliy!

Re:The rejection will be overturned. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19127941)

My organization's (a major national lab) patent attorney once said that he has never heard of a patent being denied on the basis of obviousness, and he's been in the business for around 30 years.

The reason is simple - judges are easy to fool. All you need are a few "experts" to toss around some technical-sounding jargon, bring up some reason why the "invention" is highly complex and amazingly ingenious (again based on some obscure jargon), and human nature takes over. The judge doesn't want to admit to being clueless when confronted by such esteemed "experts", so he nods wisely and ... BINGO, patent granted.

Fuck A GOAT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19126957)

Wash off hands you aal is to let and help us! of playing your Fortunately, Linux Pooper. Nothing BSDI is also dead, of an admittedly GAY NIGGERS from that he documents of BSD/OS. A Subscribers. Please lesson and our cause. Gay 80s, DARPA saw BSD errors. Future I off the play area The channel to sign Developers to them...then Jesus Up The to decline for that support Propaganda and she had no fear most. Look at the Apple too. No, while the project 3as in the tea I NetBSD posts on conglomerate in the paranoid conspiracy are the important 200 running NT a GAY NIGGER watershed essay, FreeBSD project,

He rejected it ONCE with ONE signature (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19127057)

Presumably he made only ONE rejection with ONE signature.
Presumably he made only ONE rejection with ONE signature.

Go ahead mod me redundant for saying something twice.
Go ahead mod me redundant for saying something twice.

If only there was a way I could explain this without all this repetition, I need an invention.
If only there was a way I could explain this without all this repetition, I need an invention.

I have it! One time writing. I'll write things only once, because writing them more than once is a waste.
It seems obvious now, but that's because of hindsight bias. Can you show me anywhere anyone wrote or patented writing things once because twice is needless duplication? No!

Here is your prior art (1)

daBass (56811) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127105)

Well before the dawn of the Internet people had accounts set up with suppliers and all the needed to do was phone them up (ie: connect to the website), ask them if they had the product (ie: search) and then say: "I'll take it". The supplier would know where to ship it and where to get the money from.

If that isn't so close to one click shopping it would invalidate the patent, then I don't know what is...

Re:Here is your prior art (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127511)

The reason that doesn't apply is in your first sentence. It doesn't use the internet, which is both a necessary and a sufficient condition for anything to be novel and patentable. Didn't you get the memo?

Re:Here is your prior art (1)

daBass (56811) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127703)

LOL, yeah I got the memo...

But it's not fair!

Well, burst.com's patents didn't use the internet and somehow they seem to have a case. It should work both ways with prior art too, shouldn't it?

Oh well, like I really care...

Bezos' credibility is now in the toilet now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19127545)

This is quite amazing, how can Bezos recover from this? He talks a good game on patent reform but this places him top of the list of scoundrels in abuse of the system. It's amazing he can look himself in the mirror.

Oral Appeal? (4, Funny)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127597)

Mr. Examiner,

I'd like to introduce you to our spokeslawyer, Heidi. She is ready to meet with you for her oral appeal.

Hacking Congress ... again (4, Insightful)

supersnail (106701) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127719)

In much the same way that script kiddies and east european phishers all know how to hack PCs. All of corporate America knows how to hack congress.

Most hacks require only simple tools: PACs, straight contibutions, that important meeting with the lobbyist that needed to be in the lobby of a Hawian hotel.

Some hacks require more subtle tools: "Where was I gonna site that factory - remind me?", "You know if you ever get tired of congress and want a real job.", "I have absolutly no control over the editors of my newspaper/TV station if they print bad things about you thats tough."

It happens so regularly it doesnt even raise eyebrows anymore. So Bezos will probably lose his patents until congress changes the law so he can get them back.

Wouldnt it be much more efficient and simpler to introduce a "pay per vote" system. Represenitives could auction of votes on e-bay, and, the house seat themselves could be auctioned by the higest bidder. (This is a varation on tax farming which served to Ottoman empire well for 600 years).

The sad thing is that while all this malarky is going on Wolfowitz and Bolten are lecturing the rest of the world about the evils of corruption.
 

Amazon is a victim of the patent system, not v-v (4, Insightful)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 6 years ago | (#19127917)

Corporations have never determined the direction of the patent system. Corporations are legally and ethically bound to pursue business practices that are in the interests of shareholders. When the software patent genie was let out of the bottle in the 1980s, software companies had absolutely no option except to pursue their own patents vigorously.

Amazon has never done the wrong thing by pursuing the "one-click" patent. Patents, especially software patents, are interpreted very narrowly. What sounds to a layman as a "patent on online sales" (for example) turns out to be much more specific in print, and more importantly has been interpreted very narrowly by Federal courts. You can't patent the process of online sales, but you can patent a detail of it. When a court sets out to determine the validity of such a detail, it doesn't examine it in the context of "is it a logical implementation of a larger, obvious system." The court sets out to determine whether it is a detail that someone else has used. Basically, as the law has been interpreted for the past two decades, whether something has already been patented is the greatest determining factor on whether it can be patented. That isn't how a layperson reads the law, and in fact it is probably contrary to the intent of the law. But that's how it is.

The US Supreme Court has indicated an interest in changing the interpretation of software and process patents so that courts must interpret patents and patent applications in a way that sounds more in the spirit of the law. I don't think most conventional companies oppose this, because the expense and uncertainty involved in patent applications, cross-licensing, and God forbid, litigation, is considerable. Patent holding firms are probably distressed about it, but I think most people perceive patent holding companies as an aberration.

The fact that Amazon has its "one-click" patent means that Amazon was doing the right thing as far as the system is concerned. It also means that the system is counterintuitive and, a majority of people probably think, out of whack with the original intent of US patent law.

Re:Amazon is a victim of the patent system, not v- (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128155)

Get your head out of your ass for a moment.

Just because something is legal and possible does NOT make it 'right'. If it was found that it was legal to kill people by some method, does that make it right for everyone to kill everyone they can by that method? Too extreme? How about a corporation that takes advantage of the tax system to pay as almost no taxes, so that everyone else has to pay their share? How about police that run reds lights in their cars because it's legal for them to, even when they don't have the need? How about a teacher that hands out religious pamphlets right outside the school grounds? How about someone standing outside a playground and screaming at the children?

I bet I just hit on the sensibilities of most of the people that read this. There's plenty of examples of things that are totally legal, but not 'right' in any way.

Amazon may be within their rights to attempt to patent this, but that does not mean they are 'doing the right thing' in any way shape or form. Amazon should be considering their customers in this. If it angers your customers, it's probably not a good idea. Since any global online retailer's goal is to have the whole world as customers, they should be thinking about everyone.

So I guess these must be Democrats... (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 6 years ago | (#19128985)

Rick Boucher (VA) and Howard Berman (CA)

We're using the mainstream media method now of ignoring party affiliation when casting Democrats in a bad light, eh?

One click is just not having a shopping basket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19129007)

I know I'm simplifying this a bit but isn't one-click just failure to implement a shopping cart in an online store. That's the reason it's obvious. It's just taking payment and shipping info before rather than after the purchase. Hardly worth a patent.
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