How Hard Is It To Realize That One-Click Buying Doesn't Deserve A Patent?

from the let-it-go-already dept

For many, many, many years, Amazon’s clearly ridiculous one-click patent has been exhibit number one in a patent system gone mad. And yet… the USPTO and Amazon cling to it. After some earlier challenges at the beginning of the last decade went nowhere, in 2005, an actor/blogger dug up some prior art that resulted in the USPTO reconsidering, and finally, the USPTO realized that maybe a patent on single-click buying didn’t make sense. But, for some reason, Amazon and Jeff Bezos (who a decade ago was a founder of a project to bust bogus patents) have aggressively fought to keep the patent alive. And so we’ve now entered the fifth year of the review process, which seems to involve some rather annoyed USPTO patent examiners, who are fed up with what appears to be Amazon simply dumping busywork on the examiners to avoid a final rejection of the patent. So, not only is the one-click patent a great example of how patents that never should have been granted still get granted, but it’s also demonstrating the ridiculous lengths to which one must go to invalidate a bad patent.

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Companies: amazon

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Comments on “How Hard Is It To Realize That One-Click Buying Doesn't Deserve A Patent?”

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13 Comments
Flakey says:

I think we can all agree that both the copyright laws and the patent laws need some serious rewriting.

Amazon’s one click is no more deserving of protection than is IBM getting one for taking a ticket with a number to know when to be served. They’re both absurd and they both have been done before so prior art will cancel it, provided it makes it to reconsideration.

The Mad (Patent) Prosecutor says:

When will the pain end . . .

Right, the clearly ridiculous patent that no one, at least thus far, has been able to invalidate despite spending tens of thousands of dollars (or perhaps a lot more) to invalidate. A rational person might conclude such was evidence of “nonridiculousness.” But, then, we’re talking the average techdirt reader, rather than a rational person . . .

With no disrespect (really), it is painful to read these articles and comments on patents. I don’t know much about computers, IT, etc. So, when I read these articles and comments on patents, it is as painful to me as it would be to you (gentle reader) if I wrote an article on how computers work, and described ants traveling through hollow tubes (wires) carrying zeros and ones.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: When will the pain end . . .

Right, the clearly ridiculous patent that no one, at least thus far, has been able to invalidate despite spending tens of thousands of dollars (or perhaps a lot more) to invalidate.

Hmm. And yet the USPTO examiners have repeatedly rejected claims in the patent. Are you ignoring that?

A rational person might conclude such was evidence of “nonridiculousness.” But, then, we’re talking the average techdirt reader, rather than a rational person . . .

When you have no real argument, resort to insults.

With no disrespect (really), it is painful to read these articles and comments on patents. I don’t know much about computers, IT, etc. So, when I read these articles and comments on patents, it is as painful to me as it would be to you (gentle reader) if I wrote an article on how computers work, and described ants traveling through hollow tubes (wires) carrying zeros and ones.

Ok. Simple question: do you honestly believe that the process for ordering a product online with a single click is non-obvious and deserving of a monopoly right?

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