Linked by lucas_maximus on Thu 7th Jul 2011 17:37 UTC
In the News "A payment system devised by online retail giant Amazon is too obvious to patent, the European Patent Office (EPO) has ruled. Amazon had hoped to patent the way its customers pay for products through the click of a single webpage button. The company was previously granted patent rights to the payment system in the US."
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A brief moment of sanity...
by Athlander on Thu 7th Jul 2011 18:30 UTC
Athlander
Member since:
2008-03-10

Seeing as the patent has been granted in the US, does this have any significance?

Reply Score: 2

RE: A brief moment of sanity...
by Alfman on Thu 7th Jul 2011 18:52 UTC in reply to "A brief moment of sanity..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Athlander,

"Seeing as the patent has been granted in the US, does this have any significance?"

Well, it does mean that EU vendors have the right to add the functionality to their websites.

It's not like the cell phone UI patents levied against cell phone manufacturers where the engineers will probably end up removing functionality world wide instead of fragmenting their product lines around the patents.

As long as your company doesn't have a US presence, then US patent holders have no power over you. If your required to license US patents at all, then they may try to include international sales in the patent agreement. It may not be fair, but with a patent monopoly between asymmetric entities, it's likely to be a "take it or leave it" negotiation.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: A brief moment of sanity...
by tupp on Thu 7th Jul 2011 19:37 UTC in reply to "RE: A brief moment of sanity..."
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

As long as your company doesn't have a US presence, then US patent holders have no power over you.

A company having a US presence doesn't matter -- what matters is where the item is made and/or sold and/or used (and to some extent, where it exists while it is being transported). A patent holder has no power over the manufacture, sales and use of its art, outside of the country in which the patent was granted.

On the other hand, US patent holders actually do have one power over other non-US companies. If Company A has a US patent, Company B cannot get a patent (US or non-US) on the same item. However, Company A is allowed to get a non-US patent on the same item.

Reply Score: 5

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tupp,

"A company having a US presence doesn't matter -- what matters is where the item is made and/or sold and/or used (and to some extent, where it exists while it is being transported). A patent holder has no power over the manufacture, sales and use of its art, outside of the country in which the patent was granted."

That is actually what I meant by having a US presence, but thank you for the clarification.

Just to clarify my second point: if any of your US products are considered to infringe US patents, the patent holder could very well ask you to license the patents world-wide. If you refuse, then they have the right to kick you out of the US market.

An example of this sort of thing is the thompson mp3 patent pool. You purchase an aggregate license to all the media patents regardless of whether individual patents apply to you or not.

Reply Score: 2

Athlander Member since:
2008-03-10

If someone from the USA accesses a European website of a European company that uses a 1-click process for payment, would that count as a presence in the US? Assuming the company delivered to the USA?

Is this sort of thing one of the reasons why some countries are against net neutrality?

I can see how certain types patents can be enforced, but a process patent for something on the internet seems as vague as you can get.

Reply Score: 2

dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

If someone from the USA accesses a European website of a European company that uses a 1-click process for payment, would that count as a presence in the US? Assuming the company delivered to the USA?


If it uses another company (FedEX, DHL, whatever), for sure no.
BUT: if it is a big company, US could make the import of that product illegal (this means buying from that company).

If the company has a subsidiary or a contract with a local US company, it might be considered presence, but I really don't know the law so well.

Reply Score: 1

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

There is no international law. It just does not exist. International trade is based on bilateral and multilateral agreements that are more or less enforceable, most of the time not enforceable at all.
You can do what you want on the internet. It is illegal in China to talk about some events that took place. They filter it with their firewall but they can't go after foreigners. In most of Europe, gambling, selling nazi items and child porn are illegal but you find them on the internet. In the US breacking software patents of copying copyrighted material is illegal. Well guess what? The livna repos of Red Hat are in Russia.
If you are creative enough you can do whatever you want on the internet.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I certainly hopes it works like this the other way around too otherwise it's a bit screwed up.

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

If we apply case law, then I know at least one case where a judge threw out a lawsuit because the offending company didn't have enough economical presence in US.

And if when you sell your products, the one who is importing products to some country is responsible for compliance with local laws.
So if you sell your software or hardware in EU, you are not responsible for some of yur clients breaking the US law by importing things they purchase.
(Same principle as if a person buys some legal drugs in the Netherlands; tries to bring it into US, the seller is not liable.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: A brief moment of sanity...
by _txf_ on Thu 7th Jul 2011 19:43 UTC in reply to "A brief moment of sanity..."
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Seeing as the patent has been granted in the US, does this have any significance?


No real practical purpose, I guess. It does go to show how much fail can be found in the USPTO.

Reply Score: 3

Here's an idea ...
by WorknMan on Thu 7th Jul 2011 18:58 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

You guys should change the name of this site to patentnews.com, or something similar that isn't already being used.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Here's an idea ...
by fretinator on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:13 UTC in reply to "Here's an idea ..."
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

True, since software patents have nothing to do with the Operating System folks like Microsoft, Apple, or the phone OS folks like Google, HTC, Nokia, etc. Correct, you are.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Here's an idea ...
by Neolander on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Here's an idea ..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I'm sure that even things like memory allocation are patented. If one day a hobby OS was to rise, the sharks would go wild.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Here's an idea ...
by fretinator on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Here's an idea ..."
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

If one day a hobby OS was to rise, the sharks would go wild.


I think SCO went bankrupt.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Here's an idea ...
by Neolander on Thu 7th Jul 2011 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Here's an idea ..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Yup, but they were already pretty weak when they started to litigate.

Nowadays, if something like the Apple-Microsoft lawsuits on GUI behaviour was to happen again, but with a small osdeving company like Haiku as the victim, I'm not sure that the outcomes would be as good as they were in the past...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Here's an idea ...
by vitae on Thu 7th Jul 2011 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Here's an idea ..."
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Isn't that what Gates was supposed to have learned from his famous letter to the open source crowd? That while he could yell at them, he couldn't really stop them from doing their thing. Free software continued on despite his rant, and unless they're prepared to spy on every programmer throughout the planet to make sure they're not hacking away at a new OS and tapping their lines to make sure they're not transferring it over the internet, and watching so that they're not transferring it over digital media...It's a losing battle. And in the end, Apple ends up using open source anyway.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Here's an idea ...
by JAlexoid on Fri 8th Jul 2011 01:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Here's an idea ..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Have you actually seen what patents are in Microsoft vs Motorola suit? They are definitely Linux kernel oriented.

SCO may have been bankrupt by it's CEO, yet Microsoft is still at large...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Here's an idea ...
by allanregistos on Fri 8th Jul 2011 08:16 UTC in reply to "Here's an idea ..."
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

You guys should change the name of this site to patentnews.com, or something similar that isn't already being used.

LOL. I stumble upon this site searching for OS NEWS as I am an OS hobbyist. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Here's an idea ...
by ozonehole on Fri 8th Jul 2011 21:37 UTC in reply to "Here's an idea ..."
ozonehole Member since:
2006-01-07

I'm very glad that OSNews is covering these patent stories. I know of no other web site where we can easily find all this information in one place.

Don't think this has anything to do with operating systems? Think again. My favorite OS, Linux, is slowly but surely being made illegal in the USA. I can envision a day when anyone in America who is suspected of using Linux runs a risk that the Swat team will break down the door and seize his/her computer. After the forensics lab determines that you've been listening to MP3s or watching videos without a license, expect heavy fines and possible jail time for patent infringement. In the "Land of the free."

So, keep up the good work, OSNews. Don't listen to the naysayers. I want to hear about software patents until they no longer exist. Those of you who don't want to hear anything more about patents can always spend your time on a gaming forum.

Edited 2011-07-08 21:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Here's an idea ...
by Lennie on Sat 9th Jul 2011 14:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Here's an idea ..."
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Similair to how they already do it for illegally downloading mp3´s ?

Usually everyone settles, I guess, even if they are innocent.

Edited 2011-07-09 14:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Here's an idea ...
by SaschaW on Fri 8th Jul 2011 21:41 UTC in reply to "Here's an idea ..."
SaschaW Member since:
2007-07-19

If OSnews would stick to only actual OS news, then I fear this site would become a baron wasteland :-) Patent wars are pretty much replacing innovations in many areas, which is really sad. I wonder how far this nonsense can go further. Until innovation returns we have to get by watching the soap opera that is the US patent system unfold until it hopefully collapses one day.

Reply Score: 1

EU allows software patents now?
by bram on Fri 8th Jul 2011 01:03 UTC
bram
Member since:
2009-04-03

I thought the EU did not do software patents?
Or has this changed?

Reply Score: 1

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

But 1Click patent is not a software patent. It's a process patent. At least it was filed like one to EPO.

And the sleazy language used in those kind of applications are just appalling.

Reply Score: 4

Oh Rly?
by spiderman on Fri 8th Jul 2011 06:26 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

It is obvious now that Amazon has invented it. Remember before Amazon invented it? it sucked. Buying things meant that you had to work to get money, then physically move to the location where the thing was and then pay for it. Amazon has revolutionized commerce. Now you click on a button and you have the thing and you take it for granted, ungrateful bastards.

Reply Score: 2

I used to mock this patent, but...
by MollyC on Sat 9th Jul 2011 09:54 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

I was one of those that mocked this patent when it first came out, but eventually changed my mind. It wasn't "obvious", for if it were, then everyone would've been doing it already.

I'd guess that 90% of inventions are "obvious" after the fact. And usually, the more "obvious" something is after the fact, the more "brilliant" the invention actually was. I've associated "brilliance/genius" with the ability to see/do the "obvious" that nobody else sees. ;)

That said, I still don't know that it should be a patentable thing. I'm on the fence on it. lol

Reply Score: 2

It's not obvious
by RolandE on Sat 9th Jul 2011 21:28 UTC
RolandE
Member since:
2011-07-09

I agree with MollyC. Most people have probably something in mind if they hear "1-Click Shopping," without knowing what the patent says and what is not obvious about it.

I myself was only of these people until I watched Joel Spolsky's presentation on "Simplicity vs. Choice." (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/backIssues-2010-08.html) The whole movie is worth watching. He mentions Amazon's 1-click patent around the time 47:50: Jeff Bezos' own developers did originally not understand the 1-click concept and implement 4-click shopping instead. Understanding 1-click shopping requires understanding the whole process, not just the software; and implementing it is much more complicated than the erstwhile 4-click shopping: Instead of annoying the user with Vista-like confirmation dialogs it implements an undo-process, which is quite complex once the fulfillment process has started.

Is the patent obvious? (Obviously not; but not so obviously to the EU patent office.)

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's not obvious
by JAlexoid on Sat 9th Jul 2011 22:51 UTC in reply to "It's not obvious"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Their obviousness is not about "Everyone knew that at the time", but rather "Given the same requirements most skilled professionals would create the same solution".

I've read their conclusion and there is nothing to disagree with.

Reply Score: 3