Is a patent to protect “1 click” online shopping Absurd?

21 10 2008
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Amazon.com recently got a patent for 1 click online shopping – sort of. U.S. Patent No. 5,960,411, “Method and System for Placing a Purchase Order via a Communications Network. There are actually hundreds of online websites that have shopping carts and checkout paths to buy merchandise where there is an option to store credit card information to streamline the purchase tasks. So Amazon immediately sued Barnes and Noble it’s main competitor and a judge granted an injunction which forced Barnes and Nobel to add an extra step to their checkout.

In my personal and humble opinion this is an ABSURD LAW. How could he US Patent office allow exclusive rights to someone for a streamlined purchase process? Sure they might prove Amazon was the first to use the phrase “i click checkout” or something to that effect but to grant broad and exclusive rights to an idea is wrong and simply absurd.

If you can tell me why this is NOT Absurd, please comment on this one becasue I think the patent office blundered on this one and it will have a negative impact on ecommerce. Can someone patent the “shopping cart” itself and stop all ecommerce next?

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3 responses

21 10 2008
Dave

You have to remember CD that these patent laws are made to protect intellectual property and there are sometimes bumps in the road that are unintended but part of the process. There is probably a “temporary injunction” which is short lived by nature.

22 10 2008
John Hunter

Yes it is absurd. Software patents are lame. I like Amazon but this time they are wrong.

28 10 2008
Dean

I agree that this goes too far. While a copyright or trademark could be argued in the case of the term “1 Click Checkout”, to grant one website exclusive rights to that style shopping cart is insane.

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