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Amazon narrows patent after 1-Click reverse

Lawyers on salvage op

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Amazon.com has made a concession to reality in the defence of its 1-Click patent. Last month, an examination of the validity of the patent succeeded in having the patent rejected.

That was the result of a reader-funded campaign by Peter Calveley, a Kiwi film technician who was frustrated that Amazon's patent had held back innovation in online shopping.

Amazon is now prepared to salvage what it can. It has narrowed the scope of two of the claims in the patent, including the broadest, in a bid to have the patent restored, albeit in bowdlerised form. Previously, any "single click" action was Amazon's IP. But if accepted, 1-Click would only apply to "Shopping Cart" models in the future.

Calveley professes to be happy with this.

"I believe that the shopping cart model is an old technology that needs to be put to bed, and that if these amendments are made, they will (a) free people to use pre-Amazon methods of "one Click shopping" such as DigiCash-type systems [and] (b) allow people to implement new and exciting ways of shopping with one click, perhaps using new technologies that didn't exist in 1997," he writes on his blog.

"If these amendments are made, then as far as I am concerned, it is 'mission accomplished'."

Erstwhile "people's champion" Tim 2.0'Reilly once vowed to defeat the patent, then wriggled out of his promise. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos became a key attraction at 2.0'Reilly's events, and the two are now investors together.

So it fell to someone outside the tech industry to do what he couldn't.

Maybe Jeff promised Tim a ride in his spaceship? ®

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