Thursday, April 05, 2007

Amazon tries to defend one-click patent using Wikipedia

Today I picked up another 13 kg of documents filed by on 28 March in the request for reexamination of their one-click patent that I filed. Added to the 7 kg they filed recently, and my original 5.9 kg filing, this brings the total weight of documents so far to about 26kg (58.5 lb).

According to Wikipedia, this is about the same weight as a Malkara missile warhead, a Denel NTW-20 anti-materiel rifle, or a Swedish military bicycle .

It is also similar in weight to a heavy female Eurasier

(Photo by Flickr user PartnerHund) “a wonderful companion that maintains his own personality, has a dignified reserve to strangers, a strong bond to its family and that is relatively easy to train.” It is also just as heavy as the world’s biggest Channel Catfish .

Apparently channel catfish have taste buds distributed over the surface of their entire body. Or so Wikipedia tells me. Wikipedia could say something different in 5 minutes, as I am free to edit it to say anything I like, for example that taste buds have catfish distributed over the surface of their entire bodies.

Of course, things become more dangerous when we are dealing with subtle nuances of meaning that could go unchallenged by the community but would have important repercussions elsewhere. The Wikipedia page on Digital Evidence says:

As compared to the more traditional evidence, courts have noted that digital evidence tends to be more voluminous, more difficult to destroy, easily modified…

In the case of Wikipedia, that is putting it mildly!

So should a website that anyone can edit be used as evidence of anything at all? Seems a bit silly, really. Apparently last August the USPTO took Wikipedia off its list of acceptable research sources.

In this light, is amusing that have decided to submit 32 Wikipedia articles (all from 2007-not 1997!) in this latest filing, in addition to the ones they submitted last time! We will have to wait and see what the examiner makes of this.

So what else did Amazon file this time? Well, out of the 39 US patents they have cited, one is being used by Cordance Corporation to sue Amazon for patent infringement.

Out of the 98 other non-patent docs, a couple are web pages made by Alexis Grandemange: "Business method" and "1 click analysis".

The background to this is that after I had filed my request, Alexis and I had a discussion about some additional prior art that could be perhaps be applied to claims other than the ones I had already attacked in my request. Then Alexis posted some pages about the things we discussed.

The funny thing here is that, clearly linked from the 2 pages above that Amazon submitted, is the page: “One Click prior art” that actually compares prior art with the claims. Strangely, Amazon’s lawyers didn’t think to submit this one as well. Funny that.

Update: The Register seems to have got the idea that Alexis is my lawyer (They have since updated this). Not only is he not my lawyer (I haven't used one), he is not a lawyer at all, and had no input into the reexamination request. I wasn't aware he existed until after I filed the request. Just thought I should make that clear.



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