Linux.com: Taking to the Streets

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)

“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
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.”