Amazon Patent

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Peter, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Peter

    Peter Guest

    A news article last week states that the NZ government (IPONZ) is granting a
    patent to Amazon.!opendocument
    Apparently, this relates to Amazon's "1-click" system, which is really just
    a straightforward and obvious application of cookies (which BTW weren't
    invented by Amazon). For more info, see ...

    The news article states that the period for public submission runs to 30
    August. However, the IPONZ web site doesn't appear to give any clues on
    how to make such a submission.
    Does anyone know how to make such a submission to IPONZ?


    Peter, Jul 21, 2003
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  2. Peter

    Chris Mayhew Guest

    Try phoning 0508 4 47669 (IPONZ free phone) and then let us know ?
    Chris Mayhew, Jul 21, 2003
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  3. Peter

    Peter Guest

    this quote is from Chris Mayhew of Tue, 22 Jul 2003 10:31 :
    Turns out you use form 15 and it costs $300 (+ GST) to submit an objection.
    Then there is a Hearing cost of $750 (+GST) and if the decision goes
    against you, you also have to pay the other party's costs as well.

    Sounds like an effective way of keeping us plebian citizens outside of the
    walls. Leaves Amazon to get a patent that they can use to rip off us
    Kiwi's (either directly or by selling licences to companies we deal with).
    Looks rather like the DE Technologies saga (where a patent of dubious
    substance is used to get money out of NZ businesses).

    I wouldn't mind if Amazon had actually come up with a decent invention for
    this patent. In other areas, they have been quite innovative, but in this
    case, there is no invention involved, just obvious use of existing
    technology - cookies.

    Peter, Jul 22, 2003
  4. Peter

    Chris Mayhew Guest

    All that is required is the "non obvious" use of existing technology .....
    I've copied whats below from a pdf from IPONZ. Interesting thing is it
    only costs $50 to apply for a provisional patent and $250 for a full
    application - then you need to pay renewal fees every few years. This is
    for NZ only of course. Basically it shows how silly people can get when
    they come up with a new idea such as DET or Amazon - on the other hand you
    can't blame them for doing it when you consider how much money is at stake.
    The problem is with the out dated laws we have - I don't think people back
    in 1953 (which I believe was when the law was last reviewed) would have
    though we would have the "internet" in 2003.


    The scope of inventions that can be patented is large and the following
    is by no means exhaustive:
    • a new product
    • a new process of manufacturing
    • an improvement to an existing product or process
    • a new method or process relating to the testing or control of an existing
    manufacturing process
    • new chemical compounds or compositions
    • biotechnological matter
    • electrical devices and circuits
    • a second pharmaceutical use for a known chemical compound or composition
    • computer technology
    No. Not all inventions will qualify for a patent. To be patentable, an
    must meet certain criteria.
    It must:
    • be industrially applicable, i.e. be able to be made or used in some kind
    • contain an inventive step and be “non-obvious”. The invention cannot be
    already known, or be two or more products or processes put together with no
    new or improved effect
    • be new or novel. If the invention has already been used, displayed or
    otherwise made available in New Zealand, been described in any public
    document (e.g. an overseas patent document available in New Zealand, a
    scientific journal or similar) it will not normally be patentable
    Note: In certain circumstances, such as reasonable trial or display in
    exhibitions, you may still apply to register your patent after you have
    it to others, provided that you apply to register your patent within the
    prescribed time limits.

    Chris Mayhew, Jul 22, 2003
  5. Peter

    Peter Guest

    this quote is from Chris Mayhew of Tue, 22 Jul 2003 22:45 :
    I think the patent law is probably as good as you could do without a crystal
    ball. The problems are
    - these corporations are getting patents for obvious non-inventions
    - they are using them to extract money from NZ businesses.

    The patent process might be more robust if public submissions were
    effective, but the $300 + $750 + + + costs creates a barrier against that.
    It doesn't cost anything to submit to an application under RMA, and that
    works relatively ok. Why should the patent process be any different?

    The real issue is that the patents are given too easily. It means NZ
    businesses are now wasting lots of time and money defending themselves
    unnecessarily. ( ) Too bad the NZ
    government is more helpful to the foreign corporations than to New

    Peter, Jul 22, 2003
  6. Peter

    Gavin Tunney Guest

    These two bits are the ones that blow any software patents out of the
    water IMO. I don't think it would be untrue to say there are no 'new'
    inventions when it comes to software. It's all been done before. The
    internet is just a wide area network, accounting & database software
    packages have been doing what Amazon are claiming as 'novel' for more
    than thirty years. Changing a simple transactional database to suit a
    slightly different interface & claiming a patent on it is just absurd.

    It beggars belief that anyone is so stupid as to believe Amazon
    'invented' something there. Their software processes are adequately
    covered by copyright law, and that's where it should stop IMO.

    It's the legal bluff & bullshit that makes it all hard to argue. Need
    a bloody degree in double-dutch to understand what they're talking

    Gavin Tunney, Jul 22, 2003
  7. Peter

    Chris Mayhew Guest

    I see the Aussie's are getting their act together (after being sorted out
    by a Kiwi first !) now that DET is trying to lodge an application over
    there. Snip URL doesn't seem to be working so you would need to go down to
    the second article "Australians pitch in to fight e-commerce levy"

    I'm not sure that the patents are given to easily (it can actually cost a
    lot of money to file a patent if you want to take legal advise to make
    sure you have your bases covered), I think the law hasn't been revised in a
    timely manner to at least try to keep up with technology and a changing
    world generally.

    I don't think "software" should be given a patent in it's own right (but
    maybe if it was embeded in a micro controller to perform some real
    function - which is somewhat removed from what were talking about in the
    case of DET or Amazon) because it is, in effect, "creative writing" - if
    you get a group of programmers working on the same problem you would get a
    number of solutions to do the same job - there is no "natural justice" in
    one programmer being able to lay claim to exclusive rights of a process
    over what might be considered "creative writing" so the law is at fault
    though agree about making the submission process easier as long as it's not
    to easy or it will go the way of the RMA.

    The way DET is using Patents is like how some people are using the RMA.
    Some people lodge a submission under the RMA to stop progress on some
    grounds but in some cases accept what amounts to a bribe from the applicant
    to go away - this might envolve the applicant purchasing the next door
    property (owned by the complainent) for an inflated price cause large costs
    for the applicant for no reason. In the case of DET some people might
    think it easier and cheaper to just pay up encase they lose their case.
    Chris Mayhew, Jul 22, 2003
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