Amazon One-Click Patent Under Review

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will review Amazon.com's claims to a patent that covers its one-click buying option after a New Zealand actor successful raised a "substantial new question of patentability," according to a ruling by the agency.

Peter Calveley, whose film credits include being a motion capture performer behind the computer-generated characters in the The Lord of the Rings, claims that he had record of prior inventions in the field. He refers to a 1998 patent filed which discussed a single action that would be used for purchasing.

Calveley's reasoning for disputing the patent was out of frustration with Amazon itself. After ordering a book that never arrived, he decided to file a request for reexamination of the patent. Calveley has even set up a Web site to solicit donations to cover the $2,500 reexamination fee.

As a result of his actions, the USPTO will review all of the 26 claims in the patent, which include how users do not need to enter billing or shipping information when using the one-click feature. Amazon said in response to the filing that it invited any attempt to revalidate its claims and was confident that it would prevail.

Review is the first step in the re-examination process of a patent, which could take several years. The "prior art" claim is a popular defense used by those attempting to get a patent invalidated.

However, experts say that if Amazon is successful in defending its rights, the patent and its claims of invention would be stronger and less likely to be overturned in any future challenges.

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