Sunday, November 13, 2005

Amazon "One-Click" reexamination request

OK time for some UTU for the annoyingly slow book delivery.

Today I mailed a request I have written for ex parte reexamination of Amazon’s “One-Click” patent (US Patent 5,960,411), using some prior art that I found.

You can view a slightly modified version of the request in pdf form here

It is on another site because blogspot doesn’t allow posting of pdfs (just changed sites because of bandwidth limits).

Unfortunately I can't pay the full reexamination fee (USD$2,520) as I have had some unexpected expenses and simply don’t have the cash.

I think next the USPTO will send me a letter giving me a time period to pay the rest of the reexamination fee as § 1.510 (c) states:

“If the request does not include the fee for requesting reexamination or all of the parts required by paragraph (b) of this section, the person identified as requesting reexamination will be so notified and given an opportunity to complete the request within a specified time.”

If I could recover some of my non-legal expenditure on printing, research, postage, etc, I should be able to save enough of my income to cover the reexamination fee.

If anyone would like to donate some money towards these previously incurred expenses they may use the Paypal button to the right (If only DigiCash payment links still existed - see below *grin*) .

I will post regular updates of the total donations as time permits, and the names of any contributors if they desire.

Although any funds contributed are only for the purposes of recovering the already-incurred non-legal costs, please do not donate if you are in a jurisdiction where there are rules against maintenance or other legal impediments to doing so.


If I can fund the reexamination, there could be an opportunity for others to get in on the act. See MPEP 2204 for disclosure of prior art before the reexamination is ordered. Service of prior art on someone who has a duty to disclose it during the reexamination is another intriguing possibility.

There are a few claims that there is unused prior art kicking around. It would be great to see what other people come up with!

( This is not legal or professional advice. see the DISCLAIMER below)


Feedback would be welcome as there are many people out there who know far more about patents than I do.

(This email address is a gif to avoid spam-sorry about the inconvenience of retyping it)

Please don’t send any emails with attachments-they won’t be opened (As much as I LOOOOVE reformatting my drive...).


The request attacks arguably the broadest claim in the patent, claim 11 and the dependent claims 14, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 22, hopefully forcing Amazon to amend them to something narrower.

I used two different groups of prior art:

1. United States Patent Number: 5,729,594


Inventor: Edwin E. Klingman

Fig. 9 of Klingman. Compare this with Fig. 1A of the Amazon patent (below).

In the Klingman patent, clicking on a web page “BUY” button automatically downloads an item to the client computer, and automatically charges a user via an 0900 telephone billing system.

2. A number of references (including pages from the Wayback Machine) referring to DigiCash.

In the DigiCash method, clicking on a web page “payment link” causes the server to send a payment request to the client.

The client can optionally be configured to respond automatically to the payment request.

If the client has been configured to respond automatically, the requested item identified by the payment link (such as a downloaded file or access to a web page) is automatically delivered to the client and payment is made by the client.

Although there were a lot of cool things about the DigiCash system, for our purposes a good summary comes from Steven Levy's "The End of Money?" Newsweek pp. 62-65 October 30 1995 :

“You’re cruising the net, hopping from link to link with your favorite browser. In a small window in the corner of your screen sits a ledger. ‘$100.00” it reads. As you land on a favorite web site, something strikes your fancy-an annotated bibliography of every article ever written about Sandra Bullock! Only five bucks. You click on a button, and the file is downloaded to your computer. That tiny ledger on your screen now reads “$95.00.””


“An Open Letter From Jeff Bezos On The Subject Of Patents”

(which seems to have been removed from the Amazon website and now only lives on the wayback machine):

“I’ve been saying for 4 years now that, online, the balance of power shifts away from the merchant and toward the customer. This is a good thing.”

Another good quote that I do not include from a legal viewpoint but only as a way to put e-commerce patents in perspective comes from Atlantic Works v. Brady, 107 U.S. 192, 200 (1883):

“It was never the object of those [patent] laws to grant a monopoly for every trifling device, every shadow of a shade of an idea, which would naturally and spontaneously occur to any skilled mechanic or operator in the ordinary progress of manufacturing . . .
Such an indiscriminate creation of exclusive privileges tends rather to obstruct than to stimulate invention. It creates a class of speculative schemers who make it their business to watch the advancing wave of improvements, and gather its foam in the form of patented monopolies, which enable them to lay a heavy tax upon the industry of the country, without contributing anything to the read advancement of the arts. It embarrasses the honest pursuit of business with fears and apprehensions of concealed lies and unknown liabilities to lawsuits and vexatious accountings for profits made in good faith.”


I make no warranty as to this request for reexamination, its validity or its consequences. It was drafted by me, and I am not a professional.

If, for some reason, I am not able to continue with the reexamination and paying the reexamination fee then it is currently my intention to return any funds donated.

Any funds returned will ONLY be returned to the same Paypal account they came from.
Any donations are in consideration for the opportunity to have the donator's identity to be listed on this site. If any solicitations made for donations violate any state or local ordinances, please consider the solicitation withdrawn.

I am not a lawyer. This webpage and the materials available on it, including the request for re-examination, are not intended to and do not provide individual advice, including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice or services.

Such advice should be obtained from a properly accredited professional in your jurisdiction. The material discussed is meant to provide general information, and should not be acted on without obtaining professional advice appropriately tailored to your individual needs.

I make no assertions of any kind about, Better World Books or any other company, individual or other entity, or the validity or any other aspect of any of’s intellectual property.
The book orders mentioned in previous posts were initially made by third parties on my behalf and on my instructions-however I did communicate directly with the vendor.

If, their employees, legal or other representatives or agents wish to contact me, then as consideration for accepting any communications, I reserve the right to publish their communications. Any such communications or disclosures will be treated as NON-CONFIDENTIAL.

Don’t bother trying to concoct grounds to sue me, because I haven’t got anything for you to take.


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