updated 04:10 pm EST, Wed March 10, 2010
Amazon 1-click patent confirmed after four years
Amazon's controversial 1-click patent has been approved, after nearly four years of re-examination. The USPTO approved the online retailer's patent but added a limitation that requires the one-click system to operate in conjunction with a shopping cart model. Other e-commerce retailers would need to use both a shopping cart model, likely to be of the non-1-click variety, as well as a 1-click version. Because most online retailers use shopping carts, the limitation should have little impact on the patent's power.
Critics questioned if such a broad technology as Amazon is patenting with the 1-click model should be patented.
The 1-click patent has to do with the process by which online shoppers make purchases with a single click, after previously entering and saving their payment and shipping information. The patent will expire in 2017.
The patent indirectly affects Apple as it's currently the only major company to license 1-click purchasing from Amazon. It uses the feature both on its web-based store as well as in the App Store, iPhoto and iTunes. [via Patently-O]