After four years of re-examination, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office certified as valid Amazon.com's patent on 1-Click purchasing technology. According to TechFlash:
The 1-Click patent...was filed in 1997 and refers to a "method and system for placing a purchase order via a communications network." Amazon in the past has used 1-Click to sue rival bookseller Barnes & Noble and licensed the technology to Apple...The patent is scheduled to expire in 2017.
Critics say it's way too broad to be valid, even after the modifications Amazon submitted in 2007. However, it may be bad enough to convince Congress the patent system in this country desperately needs its own re-examination.
Dennis Crouch, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri Law School and editor of the patent law blog Patently-O, points out:
The modified patent is still quite broad - especially since the leading retail e-commerce model still uses shopping carts....This case may be a public relations boon for supporters of patent reform that have been calling for an overhaul of the reexamination system.
Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Bilski case later this year may also affect the 1-Click patent.