Amazon wins fight to patent ‘one-click’ technology

MONTREAL — Internet retailer Amazon.com has won a fight to patent its online payment system in Canada that allows shoppers to make purchases with one click of their computer mouse.

MONTREAL — Internet retailer Amazon.com has won a fight to patent its online payment system in Canada that allows shoppers to make purchases with one click of their computer mouse.

The Federal Court decision closes a chapter in Amazon’s fight to protect what it calls its “one-click” technology from possible illegal use in Canada.

“The Patent Act is not static; it must be applied in ways that recognize changes in technology such as the move from the Industrial Age to the electronic one of today,” Justice Michael Phelan wrote in a decision released Thursday.

The court overturned a decision by Canada’s patent office, which didn’t allow Amazon’s “one-click” payment method to be patented.

While the decision doesn’t affect shoppers, it means the Commissioner of Patents will have to take a second look at Amazon’s patent application.

If approved, the patent will protect its “one-click” concept so that it can’t be used by competitors unless they license it from Amazon.

Amazon could not be immediately reached for comment.

Patent expert Alexander Poltorak said Amazon wants to protect its market share.

“The way you protect your market share is by patenting whatever aspect of technology that you develop and preventing competitors from emulating this,” said Poltorak, chairman and CEO of U.S.-based General Patent Corp.

In the United States, Amazon.com settled a patent infringement suit against competitor Barnes & Noble.com over its checkout system in 2002.

“They want to make the shopping experience on Amazon different than the shopping experience on Barnes & Noble or any other online bookstore,” Poltorak said from New York.

Amazon’s payment system keeps a user’s billing information and credit card information on file, allowing a “one-click” purchase.

Patent disputes, which are common in the tech world, can last for years and take millions of dollars to resolve.

The court ruled that Amazon’s payment system is a “business method” and is patentable in Canada, and sent the issue back to the Commissioner of Patents for another look.

“There is no basis for the commissioner’s assumption that there is a tradition of excluding business methods from patentability in Canada,” Phelan wrote.

Patent lawyer Victor Krichker said he believes the patent will get approval in Canada and it signals to technology companies that some of the barriers to getting patents in Canada have been removed.

“It puts our standards for patentable subject matter roughly on the same footing as in the U.S.,” said Krichker, partner and head of the high technology practice at Bereskin and Parr in Toronto.

“I think the judge took the patent office to task for essentially overstepping its function, which is to make decisions based on established law and not essentially to make new law,” he said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Arshdeep Bains eyes a loose puck in front of the Medicine Hat Tigers net Saturday night in WHL action at the Centrium. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels fall short in 12th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 (Saturday) Tigers 3 Rebels 2 (Monday) The Red… Continue reading

Red Deer property owners will receive their 2019 property assessment notices in the next few days.  (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer awaiting more details on how federal budget impacts city

The City of Red Deer is awaiting more information on how much… Continue reading

With a ban on sit-in dining once again in place, Las Palmeras owner Andre Lemus is gearing up for more takeout and delivery business. He has also applied to set up an outdoor patio, where dining is allowed under new restrictions. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Big interest in outdoor patios in Red Deer as sit-down dining banned again

City of Red Deer has tweaked its patio regulations to make it easier to get a permit

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during second-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Canada head coach Bev Priestman reacts during the women's international friendly soccer match between England and Canada at Bet365 stadium in Stoke on Trent, England, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Priestman says her goal is to help Canada move up the Olympic podium after back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rui Vieira
Olympic soccer draw will allow Canadians to start planning on and off the pitch

Olympic soccer draw will allow Canadians to start planning on and off the pitch

Federal government’s extension of CEWS in budget is some good news for CFL franchises

Federal government’s extension of CEWS in budget is some good news for CFL franchises

Canada's Brendan Bottcher dropped a 6-3 decision to Scotland's Bruce Mouat in the men's final of the Humpty's Champions Cup. Bottcher makes a shot against Scotland at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Friday, April 9, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Mixed results for Canadian teams at Champions Cup as Homan wins, Bottcher loses

Mixed results for Canadian teams at Champions Cup as Homan wins, Bottcher loses

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Stewart Cink watches his drive down the second fairway during the final round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Sunday, April 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Cink coasts to win at Hilton Head for 2nd title of season

Cink coasts to win at Hilton Head for 2nd title of season

The Official UEFA Champions League match balls are on display ahead of the Champions League quarter final second leg soccer match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Threats of expulsion as UEFA confronts Super League rebel 12

Threats of expulsion as UEFA confronts Super League rebel 12

San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) motions to the crowd during a break to mark his passing Gordie Howe for most NHL games played in the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, April 19, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Sharks’ Marleau breaks Howe’s NHL games played record

Sharks’ Marleau breaks Howe’s NHL games played record

Most Read