October 25, 2014

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Amazon Loses Gift Patent in European Patent Office "EPO" Opposition

In an EPO (European Patent Office) 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.

© 2014 Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A. All Rights Reserved.

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Steven Lundberg is a registered patent attorney and a founding partner of Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner. His practice is focused on patent protection for software, medical and telecommunications technology, and related opinion and licensing matters. Steve received his B.S.E.E. in 1978 from the University of Minnesota, and his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law (J.D., 1982). He has published and spoken widely on software and electronic patent protection, is active in the Computer and Electronics Committee of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and a co-...

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