Amazon 1-Click Patent Found Statutory In Canada

The Federal Court in Canada has overruled the Commissioner of Patents to find that Amazon’s 1-click patent is patentable subject matter in Canada, and that Canada’s patent act does not have an exclusion for business method patents.  Here is a copy of the decision:  Canadian 1-click decision.  The claims found to be statutory are repeated below.The decision is an interesting read as it discusses jurisprudence from the US and Europe, including the recent Bilski decision, and rejects the “point of novelty” analysis in favor of viewing the claim as a whole to determine if a claim is statutory.
 
 The Court laid out that there are thus three important elements in the test for statutory subject matter:
i) it must not be a disembodied idea but have a method of practical application;
 ii) it must be a new and inventive method of applying skill and knowledge; and
 iii) it must have a commercially useful result:
Progressive Games, Inc. v. Canada (Commissioner of Patents), 177 F.T.R. 241 (T.D.) at para. 16, aff’d (2000), 9 C.P.R. (4th) 479 (F.C.A.). 

In analyzing the statutory subject matter issue, the Court stated :

“The Court finds that a purposive construction of the “system claims” (e.g. claim 44 and its associated dependant claims) clearly discloses a machine which is used to implement Amazon.com’s one-click ordering system. The described components (e.g. a computer) are essential elements in implementing an online ordering process. This is not merely “a mathematical formula” which could be carried on without a machine or simply a computer program. A machine is patentable under s. 2 of the
Patent Act
 
 The Commissioner herself found that “in form” the claims disclosed such an invention; it was only when she took a second step to subjectively consider the “substance” that she found otherwise. As discussed, this is unsupported in law. The Court therefore finds the machine claims to be patentable subject matter.Turning to the process claims, the Commissioner clearly erred by “parsing” the claims into ther novel and obvious elements in order to assess patentability. When viewed as a whole it is clear hat the claimed invention is a process which uses stored information and ‘cookies’ to enable customers to order items over the internet simply by ‘clicking on them’. It is accepted that the “oneclick” method is novel; the Court finds that an online ordering system which facilitates this adds to the state of knowledge in this area. 
 
 In light of the above, the Court finds the process claims to be a patentable as an art and process. As discussed at length earlier in this decision, there is no need to continue the analysis once this has been determined. There is no exclusion for “business methods” which are otherwise patentable, nor is there a “technological” test in Canadian jurisprudence. Even if there was some technological requirement, in this case the claims, when viewed as a whole, certainly disclose a technological invention.”
 
The new learning or knowledge is not simply a scheme, plan or disembodied idea; it is a practical application of the one-click concept, put into action through the use of cookies, computers, the internet and the customer’s own action. Tangibility is not an issue. The “physical effect”, transformation or change of character resides in the customer manipulating their computer and creating an order. It matters not that the “goods” ordered are not physically changed.It is undisputed that this invention has a commercially applicable result and is concerned with trade, industry and commerce. Indeed, its utilization in this very realm seems to be at the root of the Commissioner’s concern.Here are the claims found to be statutory subject matter in Canada:
 
 
 A method in a client system for ordering an item, the method comprising:
 
receiving from a server system a client identifier of the client system;
 
persistently storing the client identifier at the client system;
 
where an item is to be ordered, displaying information identifying the item and displaying an indication of a single action that is to be performed to order the identified item; and
 
in response to the single action being performed, sending to the server system a request to order the identified item along with the client identifier, the client identifier identifying account information previously supplied by a user of the client system wherein the user does not need to log in to the server system when ordering the item and when account information is to be changed, coordinating the log in of the user to the server system;
 
receiving updated account information; and
 
sending the updated account information to the server system whereby the user does not need to log in to the server system when ordering the item, but needs to log in to the server system when changing previously supplied account information.identifier of the client system and that stores the client identifier persistently;
 
Claim 44
A client system for ordering an item, comprising:
 
a component that receives from a server system a client
 
a component that orders an item by displaying information identifying the item along with an indication of a single action that is to be performed to order the identified item and by sending to the server system a request to order the identified item along with the client identifier, the client identifier identifying account information previously supplied by a user wherein the user does not need to log in to the server system when ordering the item; and
 
a component that updates account information by coordinating the log in of the user to the server system receiving updated account information for the user, and sending the updated account information to the server system.

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