Amazon Looking To Patent One-Nod Ordering?

from the one-kick?-one-shake?-one-shimmy? dept

As if having the ridiculous one-click patent (recently re-affirmed) wasn't enough, Slashdot points us to the news that Amazon is seeking a patent on ordering via human gestures, such as nodding or smiling. You can read the application for a patent on "movement recognition as input mechanism" here. Here's the thing, though. Movement recognition isn't new. All this is trying to do is claim a patent on movement recognition in specific circumstances. This is one of the big problems that people have with these types of patents. There's no invention here. It's just using existing technology to do stuff that plenty of others are working on.


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  •  
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    Craig (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    Give me a break

    Interesting that Amazon is able to ignore the traditional auction market, where the auctioneer and roamers scan the gathered crowd for a nod or a wink or similar. When is someone going to patent breathing? Maybe I should look into that. If any of you TechDirt Insiders want in on this, just send me a note and we'll hire a lawyer and get frakkin' rich on the licensing. Remember, you don't OWN breathing, we are simply going to license it to you. We can, and will, change the terms of the license at our discretion, with or without prior notice. Void where prohibited by common sense. No cash value, except to the frakkin' lawyers who will get paid to run this through the red tape. I wonder if I can patent patenting a patent? Anyone? Anyone?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:44pm

    so instead of whining about it, why not submit some prior art examples and stop the patent?

     

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      fogbugzd (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:02pm

      Re:

      >>so instead of whining about it, why not submit some prior art examples and stop the patent?

      There is plenty of evidence that would be nothing but wasting a postage stamp. Prior art is commonly ignored when it comes to patent approval. We don't have to look very far for an example. The original one-click patent had prior art. The main innovation seems to be coming up with the fancy name "one-click."

      The patent office has issued not one but four patents on using a laser pointer to exercise a cat. And before laser pointers became common, they had issued a patent for exercising a cat with a flashlight. Prior art? What prior art?

       

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        John Duncan Yoyo (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 5:12am

        Re: Re:

        Maybe there needs to be an open source alternative place to post prior art in addition to sending it to the patent office. A place to collect prior art challenges, comments and be a resource for patent lawyers.

        This sounds like a good idea but I don't know if it could be turned into a business.

         

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          fogbugzd (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 5:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There should be a public challenge process. Right now we have a situation where examiners loose their jobs if they don't meet quota. Even if examiners have time to check it, you can bet that the attorney for the patent holder will be on the phone with the examiner explaining it away. That would be time on the phone the examiner doesn't have. It is much faster to cave in on prior art than it is to deny the claim, and speed matters a lot to the examiners.

          You could put a lot more responsibility for revealing prior art on the applicant. However, that might backfire. If you were not careful how you set it up, applicants would submit a list of everything since the invention of fire in their applications and bury the significant prior art amongst 34 boxes worth of material listing all possible relationships.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 6:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Even if examiners have time to check it, you can bet that the attorney for the patent holder will be on the phone with the examiner explaining it away.

            You shouldn't allow patent applicants or their representatives to contact the examiner at all. There is far to much opportunity for abuse - even corruption. It should be an anonymous process like peer review for journals

             

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            John Duncan Yoyo (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 9:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yeah, part of the goal here would to be a resource for the inevitable law suits and embarrass the patent examiners into being more careful.

            There should be a scoreboard for examiners having things get by them.

             

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          Richard Corsale, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 7:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So heres a story, I had the same idea several years ago (funny two people having the same idea huh?) I started working on ideadex.com and it was specifically intended to post ideas/processes that would serve as prior art in patent cases but more importantly could be used as a prior art research point for filing and approval. My thinking was that: as long as it's documented in the same format as a patent that it SHOULD (in a sane world), serve as prior art. That's just not the case as I found out, there is practically nothing that serves as prior art for process patents. The reason being, you have to show useful implementation of the process. This is why the only real defense to this day is showing the implemented feature in open source software. I've learned a lot about patent law since then, and the underscoring theme seems to be that it's a system by lawyers for lawyers. Funny paradox though, you don't have to show exactly how the idea would be implemented to acquire the patent....

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:05pm

      Re:

      Coming from TAM, who does...nothing but whine.

      Amusing.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

        Re: Re:

        why does TAM no longer sign in? i've searched for the answer to this, but going through his/her history it seems like he/she just stopped posting one day.

         

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 3:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          why does TAM no longer sign in? i've searched for the answer to this, but going through his/her history it seems like he/she just stopped posting one day.

          He seems to have a bit of a pattern. He posts under one name and/or style for two months or so, and then disappears for a month. Then he comes back again posting under a different name and/or style for another two months. I have no idea why.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2010 @ 4:35pm

            Re: TAM

            Very well spotted. Therefore TAM is actually a young lawyer who has been ordered by his bosses at some patent law firm to go and act like TAM. Every time a new lawyer joins the firm, the conversation goes like this:

            Boss: Go and be TAM for two months.

            Young Lawyer: Must I?

            Boss: Yes!

            The next problem is to figure out which law firm we are talking about.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:20pm

      Re:

      Oh great and wonderful Techdirt comment guru, tell us what to do, how can we stop this absurd patent from coming to fruition? Oh great and wonderful Techdirt comment guru, please bestow upon us your benevolent wisdom so as we may learn from your great and wonderful example, oh great and wonderful Techdirt comment guru.

       

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        fogbugzd (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 6:19am

        Re: Re:

        >>Oh great and wonderful Techdirt comment guru, tell us what to do, how can we stop this absurd patent from coming to fruition?

        Knock off software and business model patents would be a start.

         

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 8:22am

      Re:

      so instead of whining about it, why not submit some prior art examples and stop the patent?

      "Now, let us all bow our heads in payment." --Douglas Adams, Life, The Universe, & Everything

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:11pm

    You smiled! That's a valid contract! Pay me!

     

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    ShellMG, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 7:23pm

    When they attempt to patent the head-desk gesture, let me know. I'll owe them a bundle.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:14pm

    This is what you want a patent for...

    The universal symbol of love - the one digit F*** You!
    And you'd be damn rich if you got it since it is used so often by so many. Just like I am doing now to this absurd new Amazon patent.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:26pm

    If you nod, you place a bid. If you smile, you Buy It Now. And if you sneeze, all your bank accounts are immediately drained to purchase a twin bicycle, 5 starched shirts still in the wrapper, 25 boxes of expired twinkies, a worn copy of Lolita circa 1958 with some unidentifiable stains on the cover, 18 collectible NFL 2008 commemorative plates, and
    a turboprop Cessna with a faulty landing gear and a weird smell in the cabin.

    Technology is grand.

     

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    The Pirate, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:36pm

    "so instead of whining about it, why not submit some prior art examples and stop the patent?"

    If only was that easy

     

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    Pixelation, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 11:34pm

    One thought

    I am going to patent one thought control. Eventually we will be hooked directly in, so I am going to patent one thought controls on things like "buy", "click", "bid", "pay", "next", "back" and of course "porn". I will be the new king of the jungle. (pun intended)

     

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    Richard (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 1:59am

    Patent office needs a black team

    The patent office needs a black team

    http://www.t3y.com/tangledwebs/07/tw0706.html

    The patent black team could act as mystery customers - creating spoof patents with known prior art or obviousness.

    Any examiner who passes such patent should be in danger of losing his job.

     

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      Richard (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 2:05am

      Re: Patent office needs a black team

      In fact maybe the patent doubting community could do the job.

      You should be allowed to make a patent application for free, on the condition that you did not want to actually receive a patent - but were submitting something that you believe should not be patentable.
      If the patent was not rejected then it should count as a black mark against the patent office in general and the examiner who accepted it in particular. The key thing here is to create a downside for the patent office if they accept something that is obvious or has prior art.

       

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      ethorad (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 4:44am

      Re: Patent office needs a black team

      That's a good idea, but I don't think it should necessarily just be African Americans on the team ...

      The "black" in the link seems to talk about a highly visible team made up of passionate/gifted people. I think you're more after a "black" as in hidden/secret (eg black ops). The people don't necessarily have to be the best at their jobs, they just have to conceal what's going on from the examiners.

       

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        Richard (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 5:01am

        Re: Re: Patent office needs a black team

        In my mind the main significance of "black" was that it meant "outside the normal organisation". Remember, at that time just about everyone else in IBM wore a blue suit.

         

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    hometoast (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    Surprising new market research

    Surprising new market research now reveals Parkinson patients buy a LOT on-line.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 7:50am

    Thank you to those of you who are sharing your experience

    I think sharing what you have tried and also discussing other ideas to correct the abuses is helpful. Complaints without a plan isn't likely to change much.

     

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    identicon
    staff, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 7:59am

    hyperventilating

    "You can read the application for a patent on "movement recognition as input mechanism" here."

    The application is not the patent. The patent only covers what is explicitly described in the claims. You can stop hyperventilating now.

     

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    Vic, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    Oh, that does it!

    I'd rather move fast. I'm patenting a "one-wink dating" today!

     

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    Rekrul, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    I guess real-world auctions are SOL now...

     

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