Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Occam's Razor = Obviousness In Patents

As reported by Slashdot:

"Faced with a duly unimpressed USPTO examiner who rejected its new 1-Click patent claims as 'obvious' and 'old and well known,' Amazon has taken the unusual step of requesting an Oral Appeal to plead its case. And in what might be interpreted by some as an old-fashioned stalling tactic, the e-tailer has also canceled and refiled its 1-Click claims in a continuation application. As it touted the novelty of 1-Click to Congress last spring, Amazon kept the examiner's rejection under its hat, insisting that 'still no [1-Click] prior art has surfaced.' The Judiciary Committee hearing this testimony included Rick Boucher (VA) and Howard Berman (CA), both recipients of campaign contributions from a PAC funded by 1-Click inventor Jeff Bezos, other Amazon execs, and their families."

"1- Click" is used at the Apple Store Online for purchasing and for the iTunes Music Store.

Apple licenses the "1-Click" style of shopping cart from Amazon.

I have always thought this patent and it's reasoning were ridiculous.

It follows Occam's Razor:

"The simplest answer, must be the correct one"

"1-Click" is obvious because it is the simplest way to shop online. THAT is why it is an obvious patent. Amazon tries to make the claim that it should be granted because of no prior art. That is JUST one of criteria for patents - the other is "obviousness". To me patenting "1 Click" is like patenting "1 ear" - a patent on placing a cellphone up to your better ear to answer.

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