Linux.com: Taking to the StreetsMar 01, 2000, 17:23 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matt Michie)
"Amazon.com stunned the Internet again with another ludicrous patent. They first caused an uproar last December with US patent 5,960,411, which patented the process of purchasing an item with the click of a mouse. Yes, Amazon has the exclusive right to the Internet equivalent of walking into a Mom and Pop grocery store and telling them to put a purchase onto your "tab." This procedure both has examples of prior art and is not a novel concept to anyone qualified in the field. In fact, it's a painfully obvious application of HTML cookies. A competent Web programmer could implement a front end to a sales database with this functionality in under a week. Yet, Amazon.com claims that they "spent thousands of hours" developing their One-Click(R) shopping."
"Now, they've also been granted a patent on Internet referral programs. Funny, I thought that it was going to be Microsoft pulling these kinds of tactics onto the Linux community. If the Open Source community doesn't put a high price on using these tactics now, we'll be paying a price ourself when Microsoft or some other company decides to actually implement some of the ideas contained in the Halloween Documents."