SHOWDOWN AT THE ONE-CLICK CORRAL - CORDANCE CORP. SUES AMAZON OVER THE 1-CLICK ORDERING SYSTEM: Cordance Corporation filed a complaint on August 8 in the District Court of Delaware, alleging that "Amazon has infringed, induced infringement of, and contributed to the infringement of [US Patent 6,757,710], and continued to do so, including without limitation by implementing its '1-Click' ordering system." Cordance alleges willfulness and is further seeking injunctive relief. According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cordance currently has only 6 employees.
Cordance patent 6,757,710 is titled "Object-based on-line transaction infrastructure" and was issued on June 9, 2004. The patent claims priority from 3 continuations dating back to September 1997, and a continuation-in-part dating back to February 29, 1996. Currently, one continuation exists at the USPTO claiming priority from the '710 patent (see family history here).
Carrying the weight of a 122-page specification, the patent only has 9 claims, with 2 being independent. Claim 1 reads as follows:
Amazon's "one-click" patent (US Patent 5,960,411) was filed on September 12, 1997, and does not claim priority to earlier patent applications. Claim 1 reads as follows:
1. A computer implemented method comprising:
providing a customer data storing information for a customer usable to automatically complete an on-line purchase of an item from a seller;
providing the customer with information from the seller with respect to an item;
receiving from the customer an indication to initiate a purchase transaction for
purchasing the item including metadata associating said customer data with said
in response to the received indication, automatically completing the purchase of an item from the seller by by processing said metadata associating said customer data so as to complete the purchase transaction.
As an interesting side note, Amazon's '411 patent was not cited as prior art in Cordance's '710 patent. However, a parent of Cordance's '710 patent (US Patent 6,345,288) was cited in Amazon's '411 patent during the original examination. Also, none of Cordance's other patents were made of record in the reexamination proceedings on the '411 patent that is currently taking place in the USPTO.
1. A method of placing an order for an item comprising:
under control of a client system, displaying information identifying the item;
and in response to only a single action being performed, sending a request to order the item along with an identifier of a purchaser of the item to a server system;
under control of a single-action ordering component of the server system, receiving the request;
retrieving additional information previously stored for the purchaser identified by the identifier in the received request; and generating an order to purchase the requested item for the purchaser identified by the identifier in the received request using the retrieved additional information; and
fulfilling the generated order to complete purchase of the item whereby the item is ordered without using a shopping cart ordering model.
What's even more interesting is that, due to the notoriety of Amazon's patent, a rather sizable body of prior art has been collected over the years by the IT community in an attempt to "bust" Amazon. It would seem ironic then, if this art is ultimately used to save Amazon from infringement in the end.
Needless to say, this will be a closely-watched case by anyone dealing with e-commerce . . .