"People in many areas of commerce, not just on the Web but also
TV and radio (as evidenced by some of our prior art submissions),
have put a lot of thought into making the shopping experience
quicker and easier. And yet none of these folks really managed to
simplify it to the same degree that Amazon did with 1-Click. In the
end, we did not have a winner, and it doesn't look as if the prior
art submitted can "knock out" the 1-Click patent. We did, however,
turn up compelling prior art that would never have surfaced in the
typical search process, and that potentially narrows the scope and
impact of the patent."
"So I want to offer Jeff something of an apology. At the same
time, at the risk of appearing a "sore loser," I want to reiterate
that my fundamental issue with Amazon was never the specific claims
of the 1-Click patent. Even if Amazon did create a genuine
e-commerce innovation, I maintain that it was still a mistake for
them to patent it. They built their business on the backs of Web
pioneers who freely shared their work and collectively developed a
world-changing technology. I believe Amazon was short-sighted in
trying to keep its innovations to itself rather than keeping the
web development "flow" going. It's a truism in business that all of
the smart people don't work for you. If Amazon wants to reap
further benefit from others' Web innovations, they need to nourish
the spirit that created the Web in the first place. By filing and
then seeking to enforce the 1-Click patent, Amazon alienated the
web developers who'd built much of the platform they rely on, and
who, in addition, were among their best customers. Despite the
results we got from BountyQuest, I still think Amazon made the
"There's still lots of opportunity to rectify this mistake.
Amazon has developed a lot of fascinating technology innovations.
They should let others imitate them if they can, or even better,
license them freely to others, so we can keep e-commerce a vibrant
frontier where we're building the future together, rather than a
battleground where the last company standing finds that the battle
may not have been worth winning after all."
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