Amazon Loses Gift Patent in EPO Opposition

In an EPO opposition proceeding, Amazon lost a patent on a gift giving feature on its e-commerce site. At the link below you can view and obtain a copy of the decision – Section 4 is of most interest. This is an example of how the “technical solution to a technical problem” test can be applied to essentially ignore claimed subject matter that, in the EPO’s view, is non-technical in nature, and then considering what remains in view of the prior art. Here it looks like the “invention” was only left with email after the non-technical subject matter was removed. Email, having been around for a long time prior to Amazon’s filing, was then considered in the prior art and the invention therefore being obvious.

http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2013/20130116.html

Thanks to Stefan Danner and Jim Hallenbeck for reporting on this.

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