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Barnes and Noble can reimplement One-Click shopping

By skim123 in MLP
Thu Feb 15, 2001 at 08:28:00 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

According to this article, a Seattle court has overturned the preliminary injunction against Barnes and Noble from using Amazon.com's "patented" one-click shopping. This isn't definitive, mind you; the trial's set for Sept. 2001, but at least in the interim BN.com can use the one-click shopping approach that Amazon.com rediculously claimed to be their own invention.

In case you are not familiar with the past history of this, here's a quick rundown of what's happened:

  1. Sept. 28, 1999: Amazon.com granted a patent for "one-click" shopping. (More info in this slashdot story
  2. Oct. 21, 1999: Amazon.com sues BarnesAndNoble.com for violating their patent.
  3. December, 1999: A court orders a preliminary injunction requiring BN.com to stop using one-click shopping.
  4. Feb. 14th, 2001: (today) The preliminary injunction is overruled.

Worth checking out is Jeff Bezos old open letter on patents.


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Related Links
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o open letter on patents
o Also by skim123

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Barnes and Noble can reimplement One-Click shopping | 16 comments (4 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
Bezos (4.60 / 5) (#2)
by Seumas on Wed Feb 14, 2001 at 06:54:26 PM EST

I'm not a particular fan of Bezos' by any means, but he could do far more good for us if we use him to our advantage than if we zero in on him as the enemy. His statements in the past have always been well-worded and his intentions and thoughts behind them laid-out clearly. He very obviously is not a close-minded fool, because he seeks out the advice and debate of others whom he trusts (such as Tim O'Reilly).

He also clearly understands that the beef should be made with the USPTO and not with anyone on either particular "side" of the patent debates. Whether to patent or not is really not the question. In our current state of this system, you're an idiot if you do not patent things. It's just like locking your doors at night. You don't want to have to lock your house down like a prison, but in the current state of society, you're an idiot to leave your doors open and unlocked to welcome any stranger who passes in the night to enter your house.
I just read K5 for the articles.

Article in Salon.com and OReilly's BountyQuest (4.00 / 4) (#5)
by mami on Wed Feb 14, 2001 at 09:37:34 PM EST

Salon.com has an article (the AP report) here Final trial is in September.

There is a question I have and may be someone here knows more about it. After Mr.Bezoz had his "thought exchange" with Tim O'Reilly about how patents could be reformed, Tim O'Reilly, Mr. Bezos and a lawyer launched the BountyQuest site.

To "prove" their seriousness about Mr. Bezos' committment to support patent reform initiatives, the one-click patent was included on the BountyQuest site. Anyone who could provide "prior art" to the one-click patent claims (had to be prior to Sept 27th), would be awarded $10,000.00.

See: the one-click BountyQuest.

I always wondered, why the exclusion clause in the BountyQuest was added, excluding shopping cart software packages to be excluded from the BountyQuest. Below the exclusion paragraph.

(Quote from one-click BountyQuest:)
Excluded information:
Shopping cart ordering models, which are excluded by the claim. Unpublished or secret information, e.g., trade secrets or internal company memos (even if they describe the invention and are before the relevant date).
Information we already have, e.g., information cited by the examiner in the patent case (see the front page of the patent) and information that we have cited to BountyQuest prior to posting.
Information published after the "Prior Date" listed above.
(End of quote)

It striked me as very strange that this was added. Because it seemed to be very clear that open source software was available before September 1997 with which one-click ordering feature had been implemented and experimented with. The question was only if those implementations were "obvious" for someone who is "professional in his trade". (Unfortunately the exact "phrasing" about this I can't retrieve right now - I have lost my archived posts in the now sold deja.com archives).

My hope is that Barnes & Nobles has really collected enough evidence to have a good shot in the final trial, but nevertheless the exclusion part in the BountyQuest had left some real doubts in my mind about the seriousness of this BountyQuest.

Anyone could help me understanding why that clause was added to the BountyQuest ?

The AP report says among others:
<quote> "In its ruling Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., said it believed Barnes and Noble "has mounted a substantial challenge to the validity of the patent." Based on that, the court said it did not believe Amazon was entitled to preliminary injunction relief. Barnes and Noble said the ruling validates its argument that the case is without merit." (end of quote)

'Fraid not! (4.00 / 2) (#9)
by Dacta on Thu Feb 15, 2001 at 12:49:45 AM EST

"Shopping Cart" software isn't included because it isn't one-click. You click - it gets added to your "cart" and then you need to check out. It is specificaly referenced in the patent, too.

Unfortunalty, I am very doubtful that there is prior-art. If you think there is, please give an example! All the examples people have given so far are for shopping carts, which don't invalidate the patent.

However, I do think it is a fairly obvious application, which should invalidate it anyway.

[ Parent ]
Sad (3.50 / 2) (#13)
by mami on Thu Feb 15, 2001 at 01:33:12 AM EST

I think the persons who can give examples have done this to appropriate parties. It don't know in how far those made a valid claim and might have an impact or not. I can't quite imagine that a flexible shopping cart system can't be tweaked to circumvent the "adding to the cart part and checkout part into one hidden step", but again I don't know. I concluded that it was done and was possible. May be I was wrong.

Do you know if those court hearings in September are public ? I would just love to hear the arguments pro and con.

[ Parent ]
Barnes and Noble can reimplement One-Click shopping | 16 comments (4 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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