Thursday, October 18, 2007

One-click patent claims rejected

(via Lilian Edwards and Boing Boing) Several claims belonging to the infamous Amazon One-Click patent (U.S. 5,960,411) have been rejected by the USPTO. For those who have never heard of it, this patent is for a "method and system for placing a purchase order via a communications network" a broad claim on the inventive use of cookies to make consumer transactions faster and easier.

The third party re-examination procedure was brought by one Matthew Graham in 2006, and has just been decided. The claims rejected are 1-5 and 11-26, which completely eviscerates the patent. The examiner has decided that many of the claims are already covered by previous patents, and therefore have prior-art.

Just in case we are feeling smug about the madness sweeping through the other side of the Atlantic in an effort to patent anything under the sun made by man, I would suggest that people have a look at European Patents EP1678658 and EP1825357 held by Amazon. Computer implemented inventions are alive and well in Europa.

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