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Amazon One-Click patent injunction overturned

Barnes & Noble just a little bit pleased

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The US Court of Appeals has overturned an injunction taken out by Amazon against Barnes & Noble for its One-Click technology.

Amazon was awarded a patent on the software that enables online visitors to purchase goods with just one click (as opposed to going through shopping baskets, filling in details) in September 1997. In May 1998, Barnes & Noble came out with its Express Lane technology that allowed the same thing.

There was no suggestion that Barnes & Noble has stolen the code, but Amazon decided to sue it for infringing its patent and a US District Court Judge, in December 1999, put an injuntion out against Barnes & Noble, saying it couldn't use its Express Lance technology until the case was settled.

Barnes & Noble promised to take the case the whole way. The case has still to have a proper hearing, but 14 months after the injunction was passed, it has managed to get it lifted. Since December 1999, Amazon and its CEO Jeff Bezos has faced continued criticism over its enforcement of the patent claim.

Unsurprisingly, Barnes & Noble is delighted. The ruling has "raised substantial questions as to the validity" of Amazon's claim, the company said. "We believe the ruling validates our position that the allegations brought against us by Amazon.com are completely without merit and we will continue to vigorously defend our position when the case is returned to the trial court," it said. ®

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