posted Oct 13, 2000

Amazon Tastes Its Own Patent-Pending Medicine Patents10/13/2000; 4:14:03 PM 'In late September OpenTV applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to broaden the scope of a patent originally awarded to the company in 1998 so it includes "one-click" shopping. This tool lets repeat customers make purchases without having to re-enter address and credit card information each time. Amazon first made one-click shopping available on its site in September 1997 and was awarded the patent for it in September 1999. 'Should the Patent Office decide in OpenTV's favor, Amazon could be forced to either pay licensing fees for one-click shopping or abandon it altogether. Ironically, that's the same position Amazon has been trying to put into for the past year.'Could you ask for any better proof that patents have become too broad? What could these two systems, Amazon's and OpenTV's, possibly have in common, except a vague resemblence (and I do mean vague) in functionality?This is fortuitous timing for me... I was just writing this section of the essay.


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