[ic] Patent issues?

Warren Odom warren-odom@stenocall.com
Mon, 8 Jan 2001 13:09:27 -0600

Besides being novel (i.e., no prior use), patents have to be non-obvious
also.  In my book, Amazon's one-click is neither.  Also, the patent holder
gets the right to sue infringers, but in practice that may be problematic.
Unless I'm sadly misinformed, Amazon has sued no one.  If they did, it would
be somebody big, not your basic mom & pop site.  Then it has to go through
the courts, etc.  If Amazon should prevail in the test case (again, unlikely
in my estimation), then you might have to pay them royalties.

After the initial uproar when this patent was announced, Amazon themselves
publicly suggested a kind of compromise:  changing the law to shorten the
term of all software patents.  This gives a clue as to how little confidence
they have in the viability of their case.

In other words, the path to patent enforcement is somewhat tortuous in any
case, and in this case success is extremely debatable.  I'd venture that the
chances of getting in trouble doing this are slim to none.

           -- Warren

-----Original Message-----
From:	interchange-users-admin@lists.akopia.com
[mailto:interchange-users-admin@lists.akopia.com] On Behalf Of David Wilson
Sent:	Sunday, January 07, 2001 8:50 PM
To:	interchange-users@lists.akopia.com
Subject:	Re: [ic] Patent issues?

Actually part of the problem is proving prior use.  Amazon has patented
it, and claims to have developed this concept.  I don't happen to believe
their claim.  This is a lot like the thumbnail patent that ebay has got.
I had thumbnails running on a site in 95.  If I am not mistaken they
patented this long after I had them in use.  If anyone has proof of prior
use their patent should be thrown out.

I can't give legal advice, but I can send them to lawyers that can.


msquared wrote...
> On Thu, Jan 04, 2001 at 07:31:56PM -0800, db wrote:
> > > C. does this violate one-click?
> >
> > Who cares.  It's GPL'd.  We'll distribute the patches from an ftp mirror
> > uganda or something.
> Pity that has nothing to do with patent violation.  Not only does GPL not
> protect you from patent violation, but distributing the software from
> somewhere not covered by the patent will only cover the *distributor* of
> the software, not the end users.  Won't the end users still be in
> violation of the patent?  (Assuming, of course, that the software does
> actually use some patented invention/technology.)
> Anyone know any more about this?
> > Amazon shamyyzon.
> Oh, if it were only that simple.  :)
>              2
> Regards, /|/|
>         /   | (MSquared)
> PS: IANAL  :)
> --
> ___________________________________________
> M Squared  <msquared@digitalwizards.com.au>
> Product developer
> Digital Wizards
> http://www.digitalwizards.com.au
> _______________________________________________
> Interchange-users mailing list
> Interchange-users@lists.akopia.com
> http://lists.akopia.com/mailman/listinfo/interchange-users

David R. Wilson
World Wide Network Services
Nashville, Tennessee USA

Interchange-users mailing list