Amazon Refuses To Give In; Appeals One-Click Patent Rejection In Canada

from the keep-on-clicking dept

Amazon's infamous "one-click" patent is quite often rolled out as an example of how ridiculous our patent system has become. At times, even Jeff Bezos has indicated he realizes this... and yet, the company still keeps on fighting for control over the "one click" concept. In the US, the patent is still involved in a re-exam, but up in Canada, the patent was rejected this summer, along with a rejection of pretty much all software/business model patents in Canada -- saying that without specific new laws from the government, such things would be considered unpatentable in Canada. Michael Geist points out that Amazon, rather than leaving well enough alone, is appealing the rejection in Canada.

I have to admit that I don't understand why Amazon is fighting for this patent any more. The management there has to realize that this patent is case study #1 in the problems of the patent system. And, while it did try to enforce the patent against Barnes & Noble in the past, as far as I'm aware, it hasn't bothered to enforce the patent against anyone else in many years (anyone have any info to the contrary?). Continuing to fight for this patent in both the US and Canada doesn't seem to add any value whatsoever to Amazon, but just highlights how the company appears to be abusing the patent system with ridiculous patents.


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    identicon
    Beta, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 8:37am

    Hard to understand?

    "One click" is convenient for users. Doing without this feature makes a website awkward, which makes for a bad customer experience. This is an impediment which Amazon can, maybe, impose on all of its competitors for the price of some legal motions.

    It's hard to commend, but is it really hard to understand?

     

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      Trinity, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 8:46am

      Re: Hard to understand?

      The problem is not that the reason for it is hard to understand. It's that the "mechanism" is pretty obvious, to someone skilled in the art of website design. That's one of the tenets of being granted a patent, that the invention is non-obvious.

      And then there's the fact that Bezos has been banging the patent reform drum since he got this patent, at the same time that Amazon continues to wield this one as a weapon. You don't get it both ways, Jeff.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re: Hard to understand?

        I had lunch with Jeff Bezos and crew few years ago, the waitress brought out drinks before asking us what we wanted.. I made a pun about patenting the idea. That led to some conversation which led to a sideways suggestion that we can reform the system by asserting ludicrous claims in high profile situations. Otherwise it all takes place in arbitration and no new points will ever be raised.

        Yea.. I know

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2009 @ 6:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Hard to understand?

          Why doesn't someone just start a website and allow everyone to list a bunch of ideas with timestamps and people can use that website as prior art. It can have a search feature and everything. So if someone uses an idea on that site people have a prior art defense.

           

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    The Buzz Saw (profile), Oct 26th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    Well...?

    Does anyone have the two-click, three-click, and four-click patents yet?

     

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  •  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 26th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Apple, too

    Apple also licensed the 1-click patent. See the WikiP article.

     

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      Trails, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 9:06am

      Re: Apple, too

      That's probably it then. Patent licensing revenue probably outweighs the cost of trying to fight the rejection.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    "Continuing to fight for this patent in both the US and Canada doesn't seem to add any value whatsoever to Amazon, but just highlights how the company appears to be abusing the patent system with ridiculous patents."

    Maybe that's the point. If Amazon wants patent reform then this is a great strategy for them: If they "win" then they can force everybody to license their ridiculous patent and get a huge undeserved windfall, *and* they serve as an example for everyone to point at in lobbying the legislature to enact patent reform. If they "lose" then they set the precedent they wanted to set in court and the precedent prevents anyone else from attempting anything so ridiculous.

     

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    •  
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      bigpicture, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 11:31am

      Re: MAD

      MAD: (Mutually Assured Destruction) for those who remember the "cold" war that was the terminology for that scenario. I have a stockpile of these hugely destructive weapons, and if you use yours I'll use mine back.

      That is basically the patent game today. Except for those that don't have a huge portfolio, (stockpile) or the ones hit by the mercenaries (patent trolls) and can't strike back, and so can be held to ransom. The solution of course is the same for both, get rid of all the bombs, and get rid of all the patents. Neither serve the peaceful purpose of progress.

       

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    James, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Its a stupid patent

    And not only that its literally wrong. Its not a even a "one click" process, you still have to click at least once more. This is something the patent office should have rejected without so much as a blink.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2009 @ 9:36am

    What do you call 100 books on fire?

    Kindle-ing.

     

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  •  
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    Gena777 (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 5:02am

    Amazon wins

    Often patent litigation occurs for strategic and/or political reasons. As Anonymous Coward suggested, Amazon stands to gain, whether they win or lose this particular "fight."

     

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