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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Companies: amazon, uspto

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Comments on “USPTO Convinced By Amazon That Online Gift Giving Patent Is Legit”

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Dark Helmet (profile) says:

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….

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Frosty840 says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

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.

Will Daniels (profile) says:

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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