A panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected most of Amazon.com's 1-Click online purchasing system patent claims because of evidence that another patent predated this one.
In its decision, dated September 26, the three-judge panel reversed an earlier decision approving the patent claims and remanded it back to the patent examiner.
Amazon's 1-Click system allows account holders to make a purchase with a single mouse click. The patent was granted in 1998, and Amazon went to court the following year to block Barnes & Noble from using a similar one-click checkout system. The case was later settled out of court.
The patent was re-examined after New Zealand actor Peter Calveley challenged it last year. He writes in his blog: "Amazon has the opportunity to respond to the Patent Office's rejection, but third-party requests for re-examination, like the one I filed, result in having the subject patent either modified or completely revoked about two-thirds of the time."
Update 2:00 p.m. PDT: An Amazon spokeswoman provided this statement: "We don't comment on our patent applications outside of our legal filings, and we expect to file a response to this initial action by the deadline of December 9."