Feeds

Amazon 'misled Congress' over 1-Click patent

Kept Mum about vital rejection

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

When Amazon.com's chief lobbyist testified before Congress in June last year, he made a bold claim.

Paul Misener, Amazon's vice president for global public policy, was presenting evidence to the House subcommittee that looks at internet law, and the subject was something Amazon should know something about: "patent trolls".

Pre-empting questions about Amazon's own notorious patent strategy - thanks to its "1-Click" patents, the company wields an axe over every electronic retailer in the world - Misener declared that, "extensive, well-publicised attempts to invalidate these patents, even with monetary bounties available, have failed".

"This has been one of the best known patents around for the past six years and still no prior art has surfaced," insisted Misener.

But that's being somewhat economical with the truth.

While the patents haven't (yet) been formally invalidated, several have fallen far short of being granted patent status. And one in particular, that Amazon regards as central to its strategy, was recently rejected.

This is application 09/318,447, first filed in 1999. In October 2005, eight months before Misener stood by his patents before Congress, the patent office threw out the application. The claim, the examiner said, was "old and well-known".

Amazon.com has filed it once again as a continuation application.

"Oral hearings aren't that unusual where Amazon is concerned," Peter Calveley, anti-patent activist tells us. "They generally use every trick in the book to get their patents to be accepted."

Calveley is fighting a one-man battle against the 1-Click patent with money raised from PayPal donations. You can read how, here.

Amazon-watcher TheoDP notes that judiciary committee members turned a deaf ear to Misener's tall tale. Perhaps, he suggests, because their ears were stuffed with political contributions. Both Rick Boucher (Dem, VA) and Howard Berman (Dem,CA) have benefitted from a PAC (Political Action Committee) rich with Amazon.com contributions.

As we've written before, the monetary bounties referred to were briefly on offer from publishing magnate Tim 2.0'Reilly - before 2.0'Reilly saw the error of his ways and decided he needed Amazon 1-Click "inventor" Jeff Bezos to grace his fluffy web conferences.

(Thanks to Theo for raising the flag) ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.