Feeds

Amazon 1-Click to rule 'em all? Not if Kiwi has his way

The prior art of shopping

High performance access to file storage

The campaigner behind attempts to invalidate Amazon.com's controversial '1-Click' payment patent has gained access to Amazon's filings at the US Patent Office and still believes he has a case.

New Zealander Peter Calveley is pursuing a reexamination of the 1-Click patent granted to Amazon. The US Patent and Trade marks Office (USPTO) last year agreed to conduct a reexamination and the process is ongoing.

Calveley has no business interest in the revocation of the patent, he is just an online shopper who believes that Amazon should not have been awarded the patent.

"According to the Code of Federal Regulations Amazon.com are supposed to give me a copy of everything they file-but they have made a habit of not doing so," said Calveley on his blog. "I had to call the USPTO and persuade them to remind Amazon of the rules so finally Amazon mailed me a copy of the documents."

Among the material were documents underlining the commercial effectiveness of the one-click shopping method. "Amazon have also filed a number of documents attesting to the commercial effectiveness and advantages of 'One click shopping'," wrote Calveley. "Perhaps they are intending to make some of the old arguments along the lines of: 'Nobody thought it would be successful – but it was – so it must be non-obvious!' and 'Look how commercially successful it is – it must be non-obvious!' etc."

"I thought they might try some of these tactics, so in my request for re-examination, I have already pointed out that there were a lot of other reasons Amazon had commercial success – its customisation features (for which Pinpoint Incorporated unsuccessfully sued Amazon for patent infringement), the number of books in stock, the general growth of the Internet and e-commerce etc."

Calveley also discovered that Amazon had included in its submissions definitions backing its arguments that were not only gathered years after the relevant period, but from an unreliable source, collaborative encyclopaedia Wikipedia.

"Other [documents] include a definition of 'client-server' taken from Wikipedia in 2006, and a definition of 'shopping cart' taken from Wikipedia in 2004," he wrote. "One would hope that these would not be taken as representative of how things were thought of when the patent was filed 10 years ago."

"Even leaving aside general questions about the reliability of information on Wikipedia, and the fact that the references don't date from the time period they would presumably be applied to, one hopes that the examiner will take time to think about the deeper implications of giving any weight at all to evidence on a website ANYONE CAN EDIT," he wrote.

Calveley's argument is that the 1-Click patent is not valid because other companies had got there first. "The DigiCash system (which had a "one-click purchasing" feature) not only achieved commercial success, but also was noted for its convenience and the fact that it enabled 'impulse' purchases by consumers," said Calveley. "Furthermore, it prompted a similar system to appear soon afterwards, the 'Cybercoin' system promoted by Cybercash."

Amazon's patent filing dates from 1997, and Calveley says he has evidence from the press that the DigiCash and other systems were up and running before that. If 'prior art' – technology or inventions performing the function of a patent before the registration of that patent – is found then a patent becomes invalid.

Calveley is not acting for any corporation and had to raise the cost of a patent re-examination himself. There is a $2,520 fee which he raised from donations from people who found out about his campaign online.

Last May, the USPTO decided to grant the re-examination, and that process is ongoing. He has previously told OUT-LAW that his actions are for his own interest. "I wasn't frothing at the mouth to destroy them," he said. "I was mildly peeved. I have no ideological axe to grind; I just thought, 'this is interesting; I can have some fun here. They deserve to be smacked down'."

Copyright © 2007, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.