An Early Present for Amazon - Amazon's One-Click Patent Application Allowed by the Canadian Patent Office
In a surprising move, less than one month after the much publicized Federal Court of Appeal decision in Canada (AG) v. Amazon.com, Inc., the Commissioner of Patents has allowed Amazon’s “one-click” patent application containing the same claims that were reviewed by the Federal Court of Appeal.
As we previously reported, the Federal Court of Appeal issued its decision on November 24, 2011. The three-judge panel allowed the appeal in part and directed the Commissioner of Patents to resume examination of the patent application on an expedited basis in accordance with the Court of Appeal’s reasons. The parties had 60 days from the date of the Court of Appeal’s decision to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
While the patent bar waited to see if leave to appeal would be sought, on December 22, 2011, Amazon voluntarily amended the description in the patent application (with no changes to the patent claims), and the Commissioner allowed the patent application on December 23, 2011. The issue fee was paid on December 28, 2011, and the patent is expected to issue within three to four months. It appears that a leave application was not, and will not be, filed.
By allowing the patent claims that were reviewed by the Court of Appeal as-is, the Canadian Patent Office has provided patent applicants with some insights concerning the type and scope of claims that may be allowed for computer implemented inventions in Canada. This allowance is also expected to impact recent changes to patent examination policies implemented by the Patent Office that were based solely on the Patent Appeal Board’s previous decision to reject Amazon’s now-allowed patent application.
There is some debate amongst Canadian patent practitioners as to whether the Court of Appeal's decision is as beneficial to patent applicants as the trial decision. Only time will tell whether the public may have been better served with a Supreme Court of Canada decision on this important issue of Canadian patent law.
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