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09.10.17

Worse Than Trolls: Amazon’s Software Patents (and Other Large Companies’ Ridiculous Monopolies)

Posted in America, Patents at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Do Not Feed TrollSummary: A reminder that not only patent trolls are the key issue but patents on software in general, including some of Amazon’s (e.g. 1-click patent)

THERE’S MUCH focus on patent trolls and on the EPO these days. What few people are willing to talk about, however, are patents like that notorious Amazon patent which expires in two days. We wrote two articles about it just recently [1, 2] (there are more in past years). How on Earth did it survive 20 years and why did the USPTO tolerate such a patent? Prior to PTAB there was little one could do about it unless/until Amazon decides to sue, so companies had to figure out workarounds.

“It’s probably because the above patent was already old when PTAB came into existence that nobody bothered petitioning to invalidate it.”NPR did a show about the subject 4 days ago. It’s in an interview form and it’s preceded by this introduction: “Our Planet Money team looks back on the early days of the Internet when buying with one click seemed novel enough to warrant a patent, and how this gave Amazon an advantage.”

To understand how much damage was done by this patent and what was prevented by this patent, scroll down to the part which says: “Now with the patent set to expire on September 12, Facebook Google, Microsoft and other big players have been talking about how to develop an internet-wide 1-click checkout, where your credit card information moves with you from site to site. Ken Wilbur teaches business analytics, and he watches these kinds of trends in e-commerce.”

“Where would the Internet be without that stupid, laughable patent?”This patent is a good reason for PTAB’s existence. It’s probably because the above patent was already old when PTAB came into existence that nobody bothered petitioning to invalidate it. Where would the Internet be without that stupid, laughable patent? It’s just one of many such ridiculous patents.

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