Revisiting 1-Click [5:20 pm]
And CNet playing a tricky game, trying to predict an appellate decision based on the questions placed during the argument: Obstacles ahead for Amazon’s 1-Click checkout?
A federal appeals court has indicated that Amazon.com’s famous 1-Click checkout system might be covered by another company’s patent on electronic transactions.
[...] The courtroom discussion involved sharp questioning of both sides and centered on whether the 1-Click process is an electronic fund transfer system–such as the one described in IPXL’s patent–or if it’s just one component of a product ordering system that would not necessarily be covered by the patent. Amazon maintains that because Visa or another third party actually carries out the fund transfer, the patent should not apply.
IPXL’s argument seemed to garner some sympathy from the bench. “If you went to Amazon’s annual stockholders meeting and told them 1-Click had nothing to do with payments…you’d be laughed out of the meeting,” said Judge Raymond Clevenger III. “Of course (Amazon’s) system involves payment. Otherwise (the) system would be bankrupt.”
And if the system doesn’t “obligate” one’s funds, could someone order a book, decide he disliked it, and then get away with not paying for it? Judge Randall Rader asked Amazon’s attorney.
Arguing for Amazon, attorney David Callahan countered that the system, unlike IPXL’s, does not actually move any money out of the customer’s account. Instead, he said, third-party credit card processors take care of that job after the order placed via 1-Click is shipped.