Amazon Granted 1-Hour Offer Patent

from the order-now! dept

theodp writes "Amazon was awarded a patent Tuesday for its Interactive Time-Limited Merchandising Program and Method for Improved Online Cross-Selling, which appears to be lawyer-speak for presenting customers with one limited-time offer after another until they finally bite on one or decline them all. So be careful - the next time you offer folks 10% off on a garden rake if they purchase it within sixty minutes after declining to buy a saucepan, you could be guilty of patent infringement!"
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Filed Under: ordering, patents, time-limited
Companies: amazon


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  • identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, 3 Sep 2008 @ 7:47am

    Been There Done That

    Fails on prior use timed deals were done at K-Mart in the seventies. Anyone remember a Blue light special?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2008 @ 8:03am

    No More WootOffs?

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

  • identicon
    Patent Whore, 3 Sep 2008 @ 8:10am

    Sorry...

    I have patented the idea of patenting obvious ideas. They are clearly infringing!

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

  • identicon
    y8, 3 Sep 2008 @ 8:20am

    woot

    The woot off is not dependant on whether you take action on a previous item, and it is not time dependent, it is product availability dependant.

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

  • identicon
    UUUD444, 3 Sep 2008 @ 8:39am

    Patents in general

    I personally think all software-based patents should be dissolved. For one thing, like this one, they tend to be way too general. Seriously, offering a new item up for sale on a cyclical basis? How is that a unique idea?

    Further, I think any patent covering an item that is not currently in production should be dissolved. Patenting an idea to prevent it from being formed by someone else, while doing nothing with said patent is a practice that should be stopped.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2008 @ 8:58am

    The patent covers a system and method that is much more nuanced than simply a string of time limited offers (e.g., HSN, QVC).

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

  • icon
    edgebilliards (profile), 3 Sep 2008 @ 9:11am

    software patent?

    is this a software or a business method patent? i'm not super-knowledgeable, but it kinda walks the line b/w the two.

    the code to offer sales is a little obvious, but the idea of doing it is kinda sorta not so much so.

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

  • identicon
    SoyChicken Little, 3 Sep 2008 @ 9:30am

    Read the patent details...

    ... and you will see that it's fairly well defined and pertains to their use of goldbox daily deals which I think is unique and patent-worthy. They put a lot of time and research into developing it, and I don't think it would be fair for other online e-commerce entities to straight copy it.

    Yes I agree that there are some software patents that are so generically defined that they are meaningless, but in fairness, I don't think this is one of them.

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

    • identicon
      StrawMan, 3 Sep 2008 @ 9:54am

      Re: Read the patent details...

      You know what else was innovative and worthy of a patent by those standards? The online shopping cart, rubber wheels, pneumatic tires, a digital volume control, speedometers that show both MP/h and KM/h.

      OOH! I'll patent the fuel gauge that shows both gallons and liters so you know how much you'd be getting screwed if you had to pay by the liter.

      This is fun. I'm going to find other things that people are doing, but a minor, but fairly obvious twist on it and patent the hell out of it...or stop trolling...whichever.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2008 @ 10:06am

        Re: Re: Read the patent details...

        "Strawman" is an apt moniker since you appear to be quite adept at creating irrelevant and inaccurate strawmen.

        As the subject title notes, try reading the patent before waxing poetic on what you seem to feel are failings of the current law.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2008 @ 8:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: Read the patent details...

          "Strawman" is an apt moniker since you appear to be quite adept at creating irrelevant and inaccurate strawmen.
          Perhaps you should learn what a straw man argument and sarcasm are and the difference between the two so that your comments don't appear to coming from a complete idiot.

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

    • identicon
      Innocent Gosling, 3 Sep 2008 @ 11:42am

      Re: Read the patent details...

      Goldbox Daily Deals?

      What is that, like, "free nude pic of the day"?

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

    • identicon
      JT, 3 Sep 2008 @ 12:36pm

      Re: Read the patent details...

      Oh yeah they put millions of hours into taking another persons idea that's been around for a long time and expanding on it.

      Don't get me wrong I have found myself almost solely relying on Amazon for a large portion of things I buy and even have Prime. It just amazes me that there are Kool-Aid drinkers in every crowd even Amazons.

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


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