USPTO Convinced By Amazon That Online Gift Giving Patent Is Legit

from the how-amazon-stole-christmas dept

Amazon continues to aggressively pursue variations on its "one-click" patent, even as it is repeatedly held up as an example of how screwed up the patent system has become. In the latest story, found on Slashdot, a patent application for method of buying gifts online was originally rejected under the CAFC's recent Bilski rules because the invention "may be performed largely within the human mind." But the wonders of some sophisticated wordsmithing have apparently won over some at the USPTO. Good thing Santa doesn't have a website, or he might infringe.


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  1.  
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    rw (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    USPTO

    "Slower" than a Moron in a hurry?

     

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  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Ah, Santa....

    "Good thing Santa doesn't have a website, or he might infringe."

    Can there BE a bigger criminal against IP laws than Santa Claus? After all, I was told that he and his elves made me all my shit that I got and then delivered it to me.

    It seems fairly obvious, being as how I used to get a lot of namebrand stuff for Xmas, that Santa Claus is guilty of trademark infringement, copyright infringement, and probably patent infringement as well. Worse, he isn't just making and copying this toys for himself...he's DISTRIBUTING it.

    So I say to you, Santa Claus, you wiley fat madman, it might be a good idea to get some chaff installed on that sleigh of yours and teach Rudolph some evasive manuevers, because I expect a couple of SAM missile batteries to be firing away when you illegally cross our borders without a workers visa....

     

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  3.  
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    vyvyan, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    I think USPTO is second most [corrupt/bully/stupid/(put anything as per your convenience)] department in US, next only to NSA.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:03pm

    The link calls up a page without any identifying information that associates it with a specific application. Is there a more complete document to take a look at?

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    Re:

    I think USPTO is second most [corrupt/bully/stupid/(put anything as per your convenience)] department in US, next only to NSA.

    I actually think the USPTO is quite well meaning, if confused. I would suggest that there are other aspects of the government that are significantly more corrupt. The USPTO just reached the unfortunate situation where it started to believe its own marketing.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 4:02pm

    So if Im reading this correctly Amazon just got a patent on an on line order with a ship to address that differs from the bill to address based on previous gifts you sent to the same recipient?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 6:04pm

    Re:

    Nah, it's more complicated than that. It also adds brand new invention called a "gift receipt" and a great idea of "crossing out price tags".

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 8:04pm

    Just Wondering

    I am just wondering whether any of the pundits pontificating on the claims have read the claims as allowed. I just finished reading them and wonder whether the claims are even useful to Amazon since they seems (to me) to be ridiculously narrow.

    The primary elements of the allowed claims are that the computer detects that insufficient information was provided by the gift giver, and the insufficient information is obtained from sources other than the giver and the recipient. I have not read the specification, but I have to wonder how many companies even do what the claim requires and how they can be sure the information obtained from a source that is not the giver and not the recipient would be valid.

     

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  9.  
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    Frosty840, Nov 23rd, 2009 @ 11:41pm

    As I believe I recall saying when Techdirt covered the original rejection (no link to another Techdirt story, so I may be misremembering), this looks much more like a data-mining patent than anything to do directly with giving gifts.

    Software patents are largely idiotic, though, even moreso than physical patents, so it's still a silly idea.

     

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  10.  
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    Luci, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:16am

    Re: Ah, Santa....

    You forgot about the criminal trespass and breaking and entering to leave his illicit goods in an unsuspecting person's home.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 5:01am

    Re:

    it doesn't help that they are woefully underfunded

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 5:36am

    Re:

    I agree that the patent appears to be for data mining. However, that brings up a huge concern for customers. How does anyone know that the information located is actually for the gift recipient? The claims clearly state that the information is not received either from the giver or the receiver, so there is a question of trust.

    Okay, so you mine the information. Big deal. What happens when you start sending gifts to the wrong person because you have two similar names and addresses, but only similar. In fact, the two people are completely different.

    While people may be dissing this patent, I just fail to see that it has any value to Amazon. Further, how would they ever know that anyone else is actually using the patent?

    I think people are making a big to-do about a patent with minimal value to anyone. Makes me recall the scene in "Hellfighters" where the board of directors is choosing the color of toilet paper for company owned gas stations. Sometimes people need to focus on real issues.

     

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  13.  
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    Anon, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re:

    Once someone else figures out how to make this work, Amazon can step-in and say "we invented that - pay up!"

     

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  14.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Ah, Santa....

    "You forgot about the criminal trespass and breaking and entering to leave his illicit goods in an unsuspecting person's home."

    Why would our corporate governors care if their citizen's homes are being broken into when there is all that deadly infringement to go after?

     

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  15.  
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    staff3, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:41am

    caving

    "Good thing Santa doesn't have a website, or he might infringe."

    Good thing you're not the PTO, or we'd all be cave dwellers.

    Patent reform is a fraud on America...
    Please see http://truereform.piausa.org/ for a different/opposing view on patent reform.

     

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  16.  
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    Almost Anonymous (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:03am

    Re: caving

    I'm going to be blunt with you, shill. That page is one of the steaming-est piles of shit I've ever had the misfortune to view on the internet, worse than goatse, worse than 2G1C. I can't even comprehend the sickness in the mind of the person that wrote all that crap, much less the sickness in your mind for linking to it.

    On a side note, probably the biggest problem with patents in my opinion are the words, "A method and system for". Any patent that begins with those words should be summarily shredded.

     

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  17.  
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    Will Daniels (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:45am

    Re: caving

    To try to add some more constructive criticism of that "opposing view"...

    Junk Patents: "Unless you have a good patent, you will not get the money."

    That is often not the objective. Since investors won't touch a new company with an IP claim against them, it can be used to bully startups and close down competition, which is payment itself.

    Stifling Innovation: "Large companies like Microsoft who are the principal proponents of the Patent Reform Bill tend to primarily use their patents defensively"

    I would cite Microsoft's use of a universally agreed "junk patent" on FAT against TomTom as a prime example of why both those assertions are false.

    An "offensive" act against a vulnerable company that was inconveniently proving Linux as a viable platform for market-leading embedded devices.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Of course, someone has to reveal that they are doing it first, or else how would Amazon know? Good luck with that.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Re: caving

    Was that page copy and pasted over from GeoCities?

     

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  20.  
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    Unique Gift For Everyone, Jan 31st, 2010 @ 2:46am

    I dont have any idea about this

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    dotdeals, Apr 7th, 2010 @ 10:47pm

    coupons, coupon, deals, discounts, freebies, sales, bargains, specials, offers, shipping"

    DotDeals.com is an online shopping source for coupons, deals, free shipping, discounts, specials, offers and freebies for products and services from amazon stores.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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