For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Friday, 23 November 2007

One-Click lives again

The infamous Amazon "One-Click" patent, which has been going through re-examination in the US thanks to the efforts of determined New Zealander Peter Calveley, has apparently squeezed through the system yet again with the help of a few crafty amendments.

In the notes of an interview held on 15 November, the US examiners stated that the following proposed amendments "appear to place the claims in condition for patentability", although they made the caveat that further review and search would be required (whatever that might mean).

[Note: for those reading this via the IPKat email service, you may need to go to the web version to see the claims]





To this Kat's trained eye, the amended claims seem to be simply stating that the scope of the invention is now limited to it being used independently of a "shopping cart model". This is how the invention appears to be used in practice (right: taken from amazon.co.uk). Amazon have, however, apparently given up on the general claim to one-click shopping, which was shown to be previously known.

Although Mr Calveley is claiming that this result is "mission accomplished", the IPKat fails to see how this is really much of a success. Amazon have come away with claims that cover the thing they presumably really want to protect, and the case demonstrates many of the things that are seen by some to be wrong with the US patent system (to see how Amazon fared in Europe, see the previous IPKat post here).

More details can be found through the USPTO Public PAIR system for US 90/007,946, and on Peter Calveley's blog here.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Something the Kat has missed in the 1-click saga (or at least hasn't reported on that I can see) - the EP divisional that WAS granted (to do with automatically obtaining an address for sending a gift) and then opposed is going to oral proceedings soon. The Opposition Board, which includes, I have to add, the very pleasant and clued up John Beatty, are of the preliminary opinion that the claims are obvious on the grounds that they solve no technical problem.

The FFII, who filed one of the oppositions, are not very happy with this because they want the patent to be revoked for being a computer program as such. Doubtless there will be much grandstanding at the oral proceedings.

With powerhouses on all sides of the debate, I can imagine it being an interesting decision to read come the finale.

On the assumption that the board stick with their preliminary opinion and the case is refused, but is refused for being non-inventive rather than excluded, would the FFII have the right to appeal - they won but not for the reasons they wanted? Would the FFII appeal if they could?

Gerontius

Anonymous said...

PS details of the divisonal can be found here and there's a link to the EPO register...

http://v3.espacenet.com/textdoc?DB=EPODOC&IDX=EP0927945&F=8

David said...

Thanks for the extra information G. These things take too long to write as it is, so I just stuck to the case in question.

I think there is no question that the OD, if they decide to refuse, will have to refuse under Article 56 rather than 52, since this is the EPO standard approach. TO do otherwise would go against decisions of the Technical Board of Appeal. The FFII will just have to be happy with that.

David said...

Does the Register take note of the IPKat perhaps? See the story here, posted 1 hour after this one:

Anonymous said...

I am a little bit confused.

According to claim 1 as proposed to be amended, it has to be purchasable through a shopping cart model but not purchased using a shopping cart?

Also, is there anything that is not purchasable through a shopping cart model?

David said...

I am not surprised the last commenter is confused. I neglected to point out (but expected the informed reader to notice) that the amended claims are pure nonsense, and that the patent should have been revoked.

Anonymous said...

I think the claims are perfectly clear.

The key feature is that there is a button (to buy via a shopping cart) that you don't use. Very Douglas Adams!

Gerontius

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