At the request of Peter Calveley, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is re-examining Amazon.com's patent for online shopping, which was granted for the invention of allowing registered users to buy items with a single click of their computer mouse.
Calveley, a New Zealand actor, was upset about a slow book delivery from Amazon, and used his blog to raise the $2,520 reexamination fee, claiming that a patent from March 1998 for a system called "Digicash" disclosed the single click concept. The Digicash patent predates Amazon's controversional patent by a year and a half. The Patent Office has agreed that Calveley has raised a substantial question about the appropriateness of Amazon's patent.
Calveley's blog may be found here: http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/blog/30
Amazon's one-click patent is one of the most controversial patents issued during the high tech bubble at the end of the last Century, and Several other online retailers have claimed it lacked inventive step and even absolute novelty. Nevertheless, back in 1999, Amazon obtained an injunction that forced rival bookseller barnesandnoble.com to use two clicks; the first to select an item, and the second to confirm that the customer wanted to make the purchase.
Amazon's official response is:
"Amazon.com remains confident in the validity of its 1-Click patent, which enables customers to shop conveniently without having to enter their shipping and billing information each time they purchase. We look forward to working with the examiners in the Patent and Trademark Office, and we welcome the opportunity to revalidate what we believe is an important innovation in e-commerce."