One-Click Computer Implemented Business Method Patent Allowed In Canada

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In a recent development, a Canadian federal court has ruled in favour of Amazon.com Inc. allowing them to patent their “one-click” order process for online shopping.

The online retail giant has been in a legal battle for 12 years seeking to patent a single-click ordering system which had already been granted in the United States. Previously, Canada’s patent commissioner denied the application citing that the patent was merely a “business method” and thus was not patentable under Canadian Law. However, Mr. Justice Michael Phelan of the Federal Court of Canada stated that the rejection of the patent was based on “a fundamental error of law.” Judge Phelan ruled that the Amazon.com’s one-click order process is a “practical application” that is brought into action “through the use of cookies, computers, the internet and the customer’s own action,” and hence is patentable.

This case strongly affirms Canada’s position that a business method is only patentable if the patent is claimed in a manner which provides that an apparatus is involved.