theodp writes "With IE, IM and Linux all threatened by patent infringement lawsuits, it's worth noting that Saturday marks what would have been the third anniversary of BountyQuest. With $1+ million of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' money and an Amazon VP on its Board, BountyQuest vowed to reform the patent system through its prior art contests. While BountyQuest raised eyebrows when it found winning prior art right off the bat for a patent Amazon was sued for infringing on, it surprisingly drew little heat when it announced no winning prior art could be found for Bezos' own 1-Click patent. 'There was no Bounty winner, mainly because the 1-Click patent is specific to the Web,' explained BountyQuest. 'This was a tough one to win because the Amazon 1-Click patent is so specific to the Web,' added BountyQuest investor Tim O'Reilly. Amazon's claim that the contest outcome vindicated Bezos' 1-Click patent went unchallenged by the New York Times, who instead took contestants to task for submitting prior art that 'failed to mention the Internet.' But legal documents have surfaced revealing that a month before these arguments were made, Amazon was told by a Federal Court that 'This distinction is irrelevant, since none of the [Bezos 1-Click patent] claims mention either the Internet or the World Wide Web.' If it was 'in everyone's interest to get all relevant prior art out into the open,' as Bezos said, then what happened?"
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