Thursday, November 22, 2007

Proposed amendments defeat Amazon's "One-click" monopoly

In May 2006, I requested a reexamination of the "one-click patent" based on some prior art I found.

The broadest claim (claim 11) of the patent seems to cover the very concept of shopping with one click.

Now Amazon have agreed to give up their monopoly on this idea.

In an ex parte reexamination interview conducted on November 15, some draft amendments were proposed to claims 1 and 11 ( the broadest claims of the patent) .

These amendments mean that Amazon's claims now only apply to “items purchasable through a shopping cart model”.

These amendments are exactly what I was aiming for. As I stated on May 16, 2006:

“I had only requested reexamination of claim 11 and some dependent claims, which in my opinion are the broadest and most restrictive claims in the patent. If Amazon can be made to narrow them, it could allow others to implement innovative and interesting ways of shopping with "one-click"

I believe that the shopping cart model is an old technology that needs to be put to bed, and that if these amendments are made, they will:

(a) free people to use pre-Amazon methods of "one Click shopping" such as DigiCash-type systems

(b) allow people to implement new and exciting ways of shopping with one click, perhaps using new technologies that didn't exist in 1997...

If these amendments are made, then as far as I am concerned, it is “mission accomplished”.

Note: To read the original documents, go to USPTO PAIR access site, choose the "Control Number" radio button, enter 90/007,946 and press the "Submit" button.


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