One-click: to Canadian IP valuation, it may be more than just a convenience on Amazon.com

BVWireIssue #97-3
October 20, 2010

We’ve followed the Bilsky decision closely, since it increases the potential value of business method patents.  The actual Bilsky patent was rejected even if a new area of IP value was allowed in the process.

The Canadian Commissioner of Patents similarly rejected Amazon’s one-click technology—it was only a business method, and not eligible for protection under section 2 of the Canadian Patent Act. In Amazon.com v. Canada (Canada Fed. Ct. 2010) the Federal Court of Canada reversed — holding that business methods can potentially be patented because (1) the system claims require a machine as an essential element of the invention and (2) the method claims are “put the into action through the use of cookies, computers, the internet and the customer’s own action” and results in a “physical effect” on those elements. So, the decision is back with the Patent Office for court-ordered speedy resolution.  Every one sees this as the Canadian test case on business methods IP.

It looks like Canadian appraisers will also have to look for IP value in new places—keep that in mind every time you order from Amazon!

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