More than a decade after its first appearance online, the Amazon.com “1-Click” technology continues to make waves in courts around the world.
Over the summer, Amazon.com scored a victory in New Zealand, where the Intellectual Property Office reaffirmed a patent for the e-commerce technology. Shortly thereafter, an appellate review by the European Patent Office resulted in a refusal of the corresponding European patent application as lacking inventiveness. Patent laws and standards for patentable subject matter vary by jurisdiction, which may account for the disparity in outcomes.
Meanwhile, the current chapter in the Canadian story of Amazon.com’s “1-Click” patent application awaits a conclusion at the Federal Court of Appeal. Initiated by the Canadian Patent Office last fall, the current proceedings came on the heels of a Federal Court decision in favour of Amazon.com. Written submissions were submitted by the parties earlier this year, while oral arguments were heard by a panel of judges in late June.
At issue is the manner in which patent claims should be interpreted when assessed for patentable subject matter. The Patent Office advocates for a two-part “framing” and “actual invention” analysis. Amazon.com argues that the single-step “purposive construction” analysis developed by the Supreme Court should be used in all stages of assessing a patent claim.
Observers continue to expect a decision later this year. However, the final outcome of the case is still far from certain, as the pending decision in this case may ultimately be appealed to the Supreme Court.