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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Companies: amazon

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Comments on “Amazon Looking To Patent One-Nod Ordering?”

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Craig (profile) says:

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?

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: 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?

fogbugzd (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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

Richard Corsale (profile) says:

Re: 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 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….

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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? 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Richard (profile) says:

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.

ethorad (profile) says:

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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