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1-Click Rejection Rejected 201

theodp writes "On Wednesday, a three-judge USPTO panel convened at Amazon's request rejected a USPTO Examiner's rejection of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's 1-Click patent, ruling that it wasn't obvious to them what the Examiner found obvious. The application has been remanded to the Examiner with instructions to make the obviousness more obvious."
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1-Click Rejection Rejected

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  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:10AM (#20781009)
    But, but... It's so OBVIOUS!

    Seriously, though... If there's even a single person that can't see what's obvious about this in the patent office, there needs to be firings until there isn't. This is pretty much the definition of obvious. Heck, if the person even had access to the internet, they'd have fallen across rants about its obviousness every other month.
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pimpimpim ( 811140 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:31AM (#20781243)
      Apparently the Examiner saw it, but the people higher up (let me guess, older?) are apparently easily flabbergasted by Amazon's techspeak. I'm no patent lawyer, but I can imagine one can rewrite "using account data saved from the user" in a complex enough way to make it sound like innovation.

      And as far as I've heard it's a crap 'invention' anyway, one wrong click and you just spent money on something you didn't really want. I'd rather review my account data and address every time.

      • Re:But... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2007 @10:31AM (#20781781)
        You could probably patent breathing if you'd word it something like:

        Method of obtaining oxygen while at the same time getting rid of carbon dioxide in intra-body transportation liquids by periodically increasing and decreasing the interior volume of a intra-body cavity connected with the outside air supply through a flexible biological tube, where the walls of the intra-body cavity are connected with the inter-body transport liquid system through semipermeable membranes which allow diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the transportation liquid and the air.

        Funny thing is, the captcha is "breath" :-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ehrichweiss ( 706417 )
        And as far as I've heard it's a crap 'invention' anyway, one wrong click and you just spent money on something you didn't really want. I'd rather review my account data and address every time.

        I'd never thought of it that way but you're right. I already want to review everything(is the seller charging me $15 to ship an item that costs 40 cents to mail?) so why I'd want to accidentally buy something without a chance to say 'no' is beyond my reasoning powers.
        • Perhaps (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Poromenos1 ( 830658 )
          Maybe it's useless for this particular implementation, but what if someone creates a site that allows you to buy items/services (such as songs) for a fixed fee (say $1) with one click while you're browsing? That'll be useful, but in comes this patent and that site can't use their system any more.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Firehed ( 942385 )
            Well I have to say that it pairs quite nicely with Amazon's new MP3 store. Or if you have Amazon Prime (since 2-day shipping is free on Prime items). At least with the MP3s, you can have it show a confirmation after the one-click purchase making it two-click - I'd assume it's the same for tangible goods as well.

            But yeah, it's obvious if I've ever seen it. In fact, doesn't iTunes use it? Surely a patent this stupid would apply to web apps just as much as it applies to websites.
      • I really have a hard time with the judges not seeing how "1 click" is anything other than obvious.

        Amazon: We store a customers CC # & other information. We used to go to a page where customers had to confirm that they actually want to buy the thing they clicked on & review the amount of S&H etc, but we now provide this little button that skips that page.

        Judge: Brilliant!

      • Amazon does not ship or charge your card 3 milliseconds after purchase. You can just go back and redact or cancel the order.
        • You'd be surprised. I've found a couple of times that if you finalize an order or do 1-click about shipping time, the order is instantly locked to changes.
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Informative)

      by delong ( 125205 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:50AM (#20781411)
      Non-obviousness is a legal requirement for a patent. The Examiner is required to make his determination based on a reasoned finding of fact and conclusions of law. If the Examiner failed to make his reasoning clear that the legal requirement of non-obviousness has not been met, then his determination is legally deficient. This doesn't mean that the Board doesn't see the obviousness; it means at the minimum that the Examiner did not adequately do his job in defending his determination in writing as required.
      • But... but...

        It was so obvious!
      • Re:But... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mavenguy ( 126559 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @01:07PM (#20784435)
        This very probably the case, as reading the board's full decision shows. However, after browsing over the long and contorted prosecution of this application, and considering the huge number of claims to consider it's clear that there was not enough time to do a proper job to meet the level of discussion and discourse required by the Board.

        I have no idea if the examiner was given extra time to work on this application, but this is unlikely, or, if given, would hardly be enough to cover the work required. PTO management is fanatical about meeting production goals and meeting dates to crank out responses. Assuming that the business methods get among the most time to work on an application would mean a Primary Examiner would be expected to average getting out the equivalent of one full prosecution in about 40 hours that counts everything from when the examiner first sees the application until it sent off as an abandonment, allowance, or an appeal. the applicant here filed a Request for Continued Examination, so the examiner got another "balanced disposal", meaning that he had about 80 hours to get this out. Of course, the time is accounted on each application, but extra time spent on one application must come at the expense of working on other applications.

        Give the spotlight that this application has been under I bet management will come down hard on the examiner, probably charging him/her with an "Action Taking" clear error, if not others. They will scold employees for not doing a sufficieent job, but will will continue to hold them to production standards. Therein lies the main reason the quality of work from the PTO is often very poor.

        -Ex Examiner
      • by Locutus ( 9039 )
        yes, please explain that to a bunch of legal monkeys who have little to know understanding of the computer industry or computer technology/usage in general. Where is the line as to the education and depth of knowledge expected for the determinate of non-obvious?

        Maybe the examiner can require the Board members to take a few basic computing classes or require some books and quiz them on their understanding/comprehension of the books contents? Have you tried explaining how to do something to a Windows user wh
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @10:33AM (#20781807)

      But, but... It's so OBVIOUS!

      The problem with the whole area of tech patents evaluated by non-techie people is the classic teacher's dilemma: for those who understand, no explanation is necessary, while for those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

      Almost by definition, something is obvious if it is apparent without further explanation. However, like the many tests of "reasonableness" in law, obviousness is in the eye of the beholder and depends on context. Defining an accurate, repeatable, qualitative test that determines whether something is or is not obvious in general is impossible.

      However, one realistic and credible test is whether other people in the field in question could sensibly be expected to "invent" the same thing in the same circumstances without much thought. I would argue that claiming a typical web developer wouldn't think of the idea to have a single click in a specific place perform an action is pretty insulting to the intelligence of web developers, not least because hyperlinks have been following this principle since before Amazon was a twinkle in Jeff Bezos's eye. Similarly, the idea of remembering user data to minimise repetitive data entry has been around in database world since many years before the web existed. This is drifting into prior art rather than obviousness, perhaps, but I suspect that's the best way to attack this particular lunacy. After all, you can't credibly argue that other people wouldn't think of the same thing in the same circumstances if many of them already did.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by yerM)M ( 720808 )
        I agree, but in this case there is no teacher's dilemma. If you can explain the concept in a sentence, it is obvious:

        We'll keep your credit card on file.

        This is the essence of 1-click. Now, I'm not saying that just saying it makes it possible, but, come-on, if you said this to any web-designer from 1988 on, they could have implemented it (perhaps not securely, but, whatever.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BadMrMojo ( 767184 )

        Almost by definition, something is obvious if it is apparent without further explanation. However, like the many tests of "reasonableness" in law, obviousness is in the eye of the beholder and depends on context. Defining an accurate, repeatable, qualitative test that determines whether something is or is not obvious in general is impossible.

        (My emphasis added above.)

        One thing I've learned in lengthy 'discussions' (... and by 'discussions', I really mean 'arguments') with a group of law grads is that legal

        • One thing you need to change is that it's not

          any old web developer, given a database of user information, would create a 1-click purchase system


          any old web developer, given a database of user information, and a massive commercial marketplace, would create a 1-click purchase system

          Then, yeah, it is pretty obvious. You have to remind yourself that if you were working for Amazon, and its primary busy model was a huge online marketplace, then eventually it would have occured to you to save some time by offering a 1-click button.

    • Isn't is amazing how obvious things become *after the fact*? Want to sing Happy Birthday - such an "obvious" song? Better pay your license fees to ASCAP. Pet rocks? Patented and copyright. One-Click may be "obvious" now, but that's after someone actually invented it. Remember an invention does not need to be whizzy and complex; simple and elegant often win the race.
      • Re:But... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @10:48AM (#20782041)
        Far from elegant, '1 click' is dangerous and insane. As a developer, I would -never- consider implementing such a crazy thing. The 'are you sure' dialog is more of an invention than '1 click'. '1 click' is the opposite of invention, it's lack of one. It's leaving out a step. You know, the secure one that prevents the customer from accidentally ordering the $1000 fuzzybear their daughter was looking at by accidentally clicking on the button, then clicking elsewhere and loading the second page so they don't even know they've ordered it.

        I'm of 2 minds about this patent. It's so obvious that if it remains, the patent system is irretrievably broken. But as long as it remains, nobody else can implement this horrid system.

        When the Amazon MP3 thing showed up on /. yesterday, buying MP3s defaulted to 1-click. I bought one about 3 steps earlier than I expected. (Luckily, I had intended to follow through with it.) Less than an hour later, they had added a 'check here to always confirm before purchase' checkbox. They had obviously snagged quite a few 'accidental' sales that people didn't expect to make, and got tons of complaints.

        This patent is so obvious that every programmer goes through a stage where they learn about the confirmation dialog because they've already implemented this and need to fix it!
        • So your problem with 1-click is that if you accidentally click the button, go to the next screen and accidentally enter your password, you might accidentally purchase an item and you would then have to (gasp!) CANCEL THE ORDER??? How traumatic for you.
          I am not sure why you seem to have such a personal hatred against 1-click. Using words like "dangerous", "insane" and "horrid" suggest that you have either an agenda or an inability to use hyperbole effectively.
          It might or might not be a decent patent. I
    • by Locutus ( 9039 )
      I've often wondered as to WHOM the "not obvious" clause of determining if something is patentable refers to. I could not believe that it would be the examiner alone and figured they had some way to test this. Now we see that there is no real test at the USPTO, they just rubber stamp everything and let the courts deal with it. Or worst, after the courts deal with it, the USPTO has another look and rubber stamps it again. WTF.

      Something is very wrong here and unless there are massive changes, it'll be the majo
  • Firehose antics... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SnoopJeDi ( 859765 ) <snoopjedi AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:10AM (#20781015)
    Sure, it's something that relevant to Slashdot, but posting a link directly to the documents leaves somebody without much experience reading patent-speak (like myself) almost in the dark.

    Maybe this was a bad call coming straight from the firehose?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:19AM (#20781111)
      But a direct link means you only have to use 1-click to get to the documents.
    • The links aren't very complicated for legal documents.

      The first document says that they reject the rejection. The second one says that they don't understand the examiner's explanation. And that's terrible.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
        But it would have been really helpful to have a story on the original decision linked, such as to the Slashdot post [slashdot.org], or, perhaps, even a direct link to the original rejection [flickr.com]?
        • But it would have been really helpful to have a story on the original decision linked, such as to the Slashdot post, or, perhaps, even a direct link to the original rejection?

          Damn, where are the dupes when you really need them?

    • by Intron ( 870560 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:28AM (#20781209)
      "If a "provisional" nonstatutory obviousness-type double patenting (ODP) [bitlaw.com] rejection is the only rejection remaining in the earlier filed of the two pending applications, while the later-filed application is rejectable on other grounds, the examiner should withdraw that rejection and permit the earlier-filed application to issue as a patent without a terminal disclaimer."

      Clear now?
      • by g2devi ( 898503 )
        > Clear now?

        Yes. It's obvious.;-)

        Seriously, almost nothing is obvious to all people. Even something as basic as counting is not obvious to everyone ( http://www.bioedonline.org/news/news.cfm?art=1207 [bioedonline.org] ). Even the old cliche "The only intuitive interface is the nipple" is false, since it ignores the fact that some new mothers have breast feeding problems.

        On top of that, many of the "obvious" things we know are wrong in some situations. It's "obvious" that when you drop a ball, it falls down....except if yo
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mystran ( 545374 )
      And now somebody probably should say: You must be new here.

      Rationale: one is not supposed to RTFA on /.

      That said, I personally kinda like legalese, patent-speak, and other dialects of formalese. They appear to be kinda like somewhere between natural and formal languages. The rules seem too strict for a truly natural language, yet not strict enough to be parsed with a formalized grammar. Most of the potential ambiguity is removed (or reduced), yet the expressive power doesn't seem to be artificially limited.
  • Obviousness (Score:5, Funny)

    by geoffrobinson ( 109879 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:11AM (#20781021) Homepage
    It isn't obvious to me why they couldn't find obvious what the examiner found non-obvious.

  • by PresidentEnder ( 849024 ) <wyvernender.gmail@com> on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:11AM (#20781023) Journal
    The post which is first comes before the other posts. That is, it is the first post, if read in chronological order. Its firstness is determined by the earliness of its posting.

    But no matter how hard I try, I still can't make this as confusing as the summary.
  • by condition-label-red ( 657497 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:12AM (#20781041) Homepage
    There has GOT to be a Monty Python joke in there somewhere....
    • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <deviladv AT gmail DOT com> on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:57AM (#20781467) Homepage
      Sir Lancelot: We were in the nick of time. You were obvious.
      Sir Galahad: I don't think I was.
      Sir Lancelot: Yes, you were. You were very obvious
      Sir Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and be obvious
      Sir Lancelot: No, it's too obvious
      Sir Galahad: Look, it's my duty as a knight to be as obvious as I can.
      Sir Lancelot: No, we've got to find the Holy Patent. Come on.
      Sir Galahad: Oh, let me have just a little bit obviousness?
      Sir Lancelot: No. It's unhealthy.
      Sir Galahad: I bet you're Jeff Bezos.
      Sir Lancelot: Am not.
    • by danpsmith ( 922127 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @12:34PM (#20783871)

      Sir Lancelot stops to keep from marching into a giant hole.

      Sir Lancelot: Halt here!

      Servants stop.

      Servant: Why'd we stop sire?

      Sir Lancelot: Well isn't it obvious?

      Servant: Isn't what obvious?

      Sir Lancelot: Why we stopped, isn't it obvious?

      Servant: That's what I was asking.

      Sir Lancelot: There's a giant hole there.

      Servant: Ahh, I see, great job stopping there. Fine job indeed. I shall tell tales of your decisiveness and cunning.

      Sir Lancelot: Decisiveness and cunning? But it was obvious!

      Servant: What was obvious?

      Sir Lancelot: Stopping in front of the hole there of course.

      Servant: Well, that might have been obvious to someone such as you, your excellence. But I'd hardly call that obvious.

      Sir Lancelot: But it's a hole!

      Servant: Yes... Yes it is...

      Sir Lancelot: And it's quite deep.

      Servant: Yes sir, quite deep indeed.

      Sir Lancelot: And falling down it would've indeed injured us.

      Servant: Perhaps so, your excellence, perhaps so.

      Sir Lancelot: So it was obvious to stop then!

      Servant: To someone with your skills and decisiveness perhaps.

      Sir Lancelot: Are you saying you wouldn't have stopped then?

      Servant: Perhaps not.

      Sir Lancelot: But you would of fallen.

      Servant: Probably yes, your majesty.

      Sir Lancelot: Did you see the hole?

      Servant: Yes, yes I did, it was a quite impressive hole.

      Sir Lancelot: But you would've still gone?

      Servant: Perhaps.

      Sir Lancelot: But WHY?!? IT WAS OBVIOUS THEN!

      Servant: No offense, but maybe to you it was obvious, your excellence. But to me it was less so.

      King Arthur strides up with servants.

      King Arthur: HALT HERE!

      Servants and Arthur halt.

      King Arthur: Why have you stopped here Lancelot?

      Sir Lancelot: Well, isn't it obvious?

      Servant: Here he goes again, twas what we were just discussing.

      King Arthur: AHA the hole, but wait, why did we stop? There's a bridge over there.

  • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:13AM (#20781055)
    Bezos was reported to be so mad about this ruling that he began throwing chairs and now he's getting legal threats from some CEO in Redmond who claims to have a patent on chair launching.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:14AM (#20781071)
    Sounds like me in high school...
  • by biocute ( 936687 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:15AM (#20781083) Homepage
    At first I thought someone tried to patent this " 1-Click Rejection" feature, and Slashdot would have to be paying $0.20 for every submission they easily rejected with one click.
  • by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:17AM (#20781099) Homepage
    Where's Captain Obvious when you need him the most?!
    • I suggest using the following pseudo-code:

      function button_click() {
      if(one_click_enabled) { // THIS IS THE OBVIOUS PART - a simple IF!
      } else {

      function checkout_and_buy() { // This applies for both normal checkout and 1-click-buy
  • Catch-22 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pantero Blanco ( 792776 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:18AM (#20781109)
    How do you explain what makes something obvious when it's obvious?

    It's incredibly easy, if not trivial, to design a site so that someone can save a set of data (name, address, CC info) and resubmit it along with another set of data (the order) in one click. There are first and second-year CS and CIS projects that are more complicated than that. Securing the site wouldn't be nearly as simple, but that's not the part that's covered by the patent.
    • Perhaps the folks in the patent office need to hire some first-year CS students to help them figure it out?

  • Obviousness. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:21AM (#20781133)
    As always, there are some who will find somthing obvious only after they've had their heads repeatedly banged against it.
  • by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:23AM (#20781155)
    It is time to patent a brilliant new system that will help e-commerce vendors rake in billions of dollars: half-click shopping. Rather than waiting for the MOUSE_UP event after a MOUSE_DOWN event, we will use the MOUSE_DOWN event itself to close the transaction. This will ensure that all of those customers who initiate a click in a moment of shopping excitement will not be able to prematurely terminate a transaction by dragging their mouse pointer off of the link element before releasing the mouse button. Just imagine all of the extra transactions that will initiate! Next up, Zero-click shopping by using MOUSE_OVERs.
    • I propose and even faster more efficient method... initiate transactions ONLOAD! Simply add all items available on the page to the order when the user loads the page, process the transaction and immediately present them with the order confirmation.

      No more having to make decisions about whether or not to buy... imagine the time savings for all involved. If they don't want to buy the items they can call the 1 800 number on the contact page and talk to a customer representative ("I'm sorry all our lines are bu
    • Dang ... that's a lot less obvious than one-click shopping. Well done, you've make the rejection rejectors' jobs that much easier!

    • Zero-click shopping by using MOUSE_OVERs.

      And Amazon could call it un-click.

    • Personally, I'm a fan of Negative-One-Click-Shopping, where the online store decides at random that I want shit, without me even being logged in, and bills me and ships it to me. I think that would be rad.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by IronChef ( 164482 )
        You are correct. Shopping that seems to defy the Arrow of Time is the future of ecommerce. Marketing is calling it "Lightspeed Shopping" for now. Reasonably priced licenses are available now, contact me for details.

        When a new potential revenue stream is instantiated (ie, born) the retailer references the birth record and local demographics. Based on the instance's socioeconomic class and other factors, a queue of products is created and stored in a database. The instance will then receive products and bills
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The level of obviousness they need to show on appeal to reject the patent application is well below the level an applicant need to show to get it granted. The gap between the two is even greater now:

    http://www.news.com/Supreme-Court-loosens-patent-obviousness-test/2100-1014_3-6180220.html [news.com]

    The court just wants to show it's done it's job. In this case the patent office has an extra problem in that it previously granted the patent, so undermined it's own right to reject on the grounds of obviousness. But that j
  • I'm tagging this one obvious.
  • Catch-22 (Score:5, Funny)

    by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:26AM (#20781187)

    "Why isn't this obvious?!" Yossarian asked

    "The obviousness is just to obvious, that's why." said Captain Black

    "That... that's just stupid. If it's so obvious, you should just call it obvious and reject it." said Yossarian

    "Oh, sure. But if we did that, what would be the end result? Everyone would spend all their time trying to force themselves to think of non-obvious things." said Captain Black

    "What?! Isnt't that the point of this whole patenting system?!" asked Yossarian

    "NO! That's exactly my point - have you ever seen a good invention, I mean a really good invention? What makes you say it's a good invention - I'll tell you, it's because it makes so much sense for the situation its in! The really good inventions are only the ones that are SO obvious you never thought of them before. So, therefore, we decided it's really best that if an invention seems TOO obvious, it obviously must be something we have to encourage, and therefore has to be accepted BECAUSE it was too obvious." said Captain Black


    Ryan Fenton
  • Gah! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thaelon ( 250687 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @09:34AM (#20781263)
    Why can't they reject it on the grounds that software shouldn't be patentable?

    Patents were never intended to protect ideas but rather an idea + method of accomplishing it. The purpose being that it wouldn't stifle innovation because other people could come up with other - perhaps improved - methods to accomplish the same thing. Thus innovation continues forward, but the particular device that the original designer came up with is protected, not the goal he set out to accomplish. It's akin to patenting an octagonal wheel. Someone else is free to come along and patent a circle based wheel. But with software patents, even if you do it better, you can be sued for it. Thus obvious stifling of innovation. Sure you could do it on your own time, but you have to wait, what, 50 years before you can make money from it?
    • Why can't they reject it on the grounds that software shouldn't be patentable?
      Because you (and many others) think that software shouldn't be patentable, yet there's no law explicitly saying so. Showing that something is obvious has a much firmer foundation in existing law than trying to convince judges and/or the USPTO that all software patents should be tossed out.
  • I'm just curious, but the court docs don't say that it was rejected, they say that it was remanded. The two are very different things. Rejection means poof, its done. No more contesting unless someone appeals. Remanding means that it is returned back to the prior stage of the legal system to be looked at again. Maybe I'm misreading this?
  • The judges were blinded to the obviousness of it by the bright reflections of light off of the precious metals combined with the dilation of their pupils at the vast sums of money they were being paid off with.
  • Luckily I will deal a devastating blow to Amazons patent with my 'I'll take it' patent. It works thusly:

    A person will be browsing a shop (and/or an online shop, definitely both!) at some point they will decide to make a purchase. At this point something in their mind goes 'i'll take it', my patent then is the business method of selling that person (either directly, on the internet, using 2 (OR MORE) clicks, or any and all other methods) immediately after this decision to purchase has been made. This de
  • They just need to find someone who speaks 'judge' that can come in and explain it in an approachable manner. One of their peers who can come in and ridicule the amount of 'work' in the patent.

    "I think the panel needs to realize that Amazon patented the bar tab. They've then gone and harmed other bars and clubs with this patent.'

    Yeah, I'm probably wrong. Ignore me.
  • that three reasonably well educated grown adults sat around a table and come to the conclusion that a single button wasn't obvious? Did they fall over with shock when this was presented before them? Had they gotten so used to the idea of multiple clicks that it was old hat to them? This is a load of crap, and I'd like to know exactly who the hell was in that meeting that can explain to me in simple terms how a single click isn't obvious, and why this obviously looks like a scam.
  • If one click is not obvious, what about the multi-click checkouts used worldwide.

    The patent office is just begging to be abused, since by curiosity of law, everyone else is the victim of this, but them.
  • by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Friday September 28, 2007 @10:11AM (#20781597)
    The problem is "Obvious" to whom?

    There are a number of things that are perfectly obvious to me that may not be obvious to someone else. One of the things I think is lacking is the notion, actually used in patent law, "obvious to someone skilled in the art." But what "art?" Software engineering is not one art. Like it or not, it is splitting into a number of (sometimes and sometimes not) overlapping fields.

    Web, GUI, networking, search, OS, embedded, etc. these are all specializations and what is obvious to an OS guy may be completely incomprehensible to a web guy. An OS guy who only sees mouse clicks as merely system interrupts may not think 1-click is obvious, hell he probably doesn't even like mice.

    The 1-click patent is totally obvious and trivial to anyone doing any sort of GUI and/or web programming.
  • Lawyers?

    Lawyers are deciding what's obvious and what's not in a technical discipline?

  • This appeal decision did not even address obviousness. Obvious type double patenting essentially means another application has the same claims as this patent. The appeal board recommended a rejection under 112. That means they think the claim is indefinite. They explicitly said they didn't treat the obviousness rejection on the merits. Stop bashing software patents. Stop bashing the patent system, when you have no clue what you are talking about.
    • by kindbud ( 90044 )
      Stop bashing software patents.

      If software patents are so great, then patents on books and music should be even better. Same thing.
  • Write the obviousness answer down on a plank of wood, call it a clue-by-four, apply directly to the forehead with vigor until they stop spouting such idiotic nonsense.
  • 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PATENT!!
  • In most of these patents for such "click" actions you will notice it is the actually click itself which is the trigger. Obviously it is the ACT of the contact, the click, which is the mechanical nature of this patent. Therefore any system which wants to get around such a click system would only come into motion, when the finger is removed from the mouse button. We are no longer keying the mechanical action off the click, but rather the abscense of contact. Since the patent system has a lower threshold for i
  • THAT'S WHAT'S OBVIOUS! Cookies are for recognising returning users. 1-click uses the fact that the user is recognised to look up their information. THAT'S WHAT RECOGNISING A USER MEANS! Jesus fucking Christ - these people are STUPID STUPID STUPID MORONS.


  • There are ways to demonstrate non-obviousness in a patent application. One of the better ones is this:

    1. Show that, before the patent, others had identified the problem, but hadn't solved it.
    2. Show that the solution in the patent solves the problem.
    3. Show that, after the patent, the solution was used in practice.

    The "one click" patent satisfies those criteria. Before "one click", online shopping was time-consuming and was recognized as such. The "one click buy" mechanism made online shopping less time

  • An obviousness-type double patenting (which the one click was originally rejected under) is saying that the same inventor is essentially trying to obtain two patents for the same invention and has nothing to do with the patentability of the invention itself. By proposing only a double patenting rejection the examiner was effectively saying that the invention you describe in previous patents is a patentable invention, but this particular application is much too close to another invention you have already obt
  • OMG its ground breaking. I mean, its better than the other buttons you press that do crazy and unimaginable things. Who would have thought that I would live in a world where a company can have my credit card details on file, and when I click a button, it accesses them and buys stuff! I mean, we have buttons, we have databases, we have a standard electronic communications medium. Who would have thought to put those together! Its amazing. I bet they are using VARCHAR and INT fields in the datasbase to sto

Make it myself? But I'm a physical organic chemist!