After years of fighting, Amazon's infamous 1-Click patent has been (re)confirmed. In other words, if a site wants to deploy a single-click checkout system for registered customers, it's gotta licence the tech from Amazon. Oh, patents!
PatentlyO, on the nuts and bolts:
In a recent notice of intent to issue a reexamination certificate, the USPTO confirmed the patentability of original claims 6-10 and amended claims 1-5 and 11-26. The approved-of amendment adds the seeming trivial limitation that the one-click system operates as part of a "shopping cart model." Thus, to infringe the new version of the patent, an eCommerce retailer must use a shopping cart model (presumably non-1-click) alongside of the 1-click version.
Basically, Amazon had been claiming this patent for a looooong time, since 1999, until it was challenged in 2006, and in 2007, rejected in part. These parts constituted some of the broadest parts of the patent: the broad online shopping part; and the "single action ordering component". The court has basically said, hey, OK, fine - you can have these, under the condition that they're used in conjunction with a shopping cart-type system, which is, well, just about every site that sells stuff on the internet.
Anyway, how does this affect you? In terms of the here and now, not very much. But it's still pretty weird, and you may notice the fallout! This patent basically gives Amazon ownership of a large part of the concept of e-commerce, and not just in name - Apple licensed 1-click technology all the way back in 2000, a year after the initial patent was granted, and now uses it across their entire digital media empire. And a while back, Barnes & Noble had to work to distinguish its online shopping service from Amazon by arbitrarily adding more clicks.