A few years ago, we wrote about a case in which a company called Cordance claimed
that Amazon's (infamous) patented one-click "technology" infringed on its own
one-click patent (6,757,710
). Cordance's patent was actually granted many years after
Amazon's technology was on the market (and its patent granted), but Cordance tried to show an earlier priority date through a convoluted set of previous patents and continuations. Thankfully, a jury disagreed
with Cordance and said that Amazon didn't infringe, and in the few areas where it might have infringed, Cordance's patent claims were invalid. The judge then changed the ruling to reject the invalidity part -- allowing Cordance to sue a bunch of other companies
, including Apple, Paypal and Victoria's Secret.
However, the original case was appealed and, amazingly, CAFC actually ruled against Cordance
and sided with the original jury, noting non-infringement for some parts, and the parts where Amazon might infringe... those claims were declared invalid, and predicted by Amazon's own technology. That should be good news for those sued by Cordance in that other case. However, this really highlights the craziness of the patent system. Is it really valuable to have two companies spending years in court arguing over who can do something in one click?