theodp writes "Citing a 'substantial new question of patentability' raised by material submitted by Lord of the Rings weaponry and fight choreographer Peter Calveley, the USPTO on Friday ordered a reexamination of Amazon's 1-Click Patent. As noted earlier, Calveley sought donations to fund the $2,500 reexam request on his blog." This story is an interesting one, and our past coverage of it notes some of the history of this (in)famous patent. However, the process this guy had to go through in order to get the re-exam (combined with the effort of others in the past) show just how much it takes to question the validity of a patent as a third party -- and this is one the patents often held up as an example of just how much is wrong with the patent system. Patent defenders, of course, will claim it's a good thing that it's not easy to question the validity of patents -- but when questionable patents cost the market innovative products and cost companies hundreds of millions of dollars, it would seem that a better system would make sense.
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