Jury Verdict Reinstated in Amazon “One-Click” Patent Infringement Case

By Joseph Mandour on September 27, 2011

amazon-200x132 Los Angeles – On Friday September 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reinstated a jury verdict in favor of Amazon regarding the Seattle based retailer’s “one-click” shopping system. The federal jury found that Amazon had infringed one of Cordance Corp’s patents, but that the patent was invalid to begin with. This ruling was set aside by the trial judge. Last Friday, the Federal Circuit overturned the ruling of the District Court judge in Delaware and reinstated the jury verdict finding that Cordance Corp’s patent infringement claims against Amazon were invalid. (Cordance Corp. v. Amazon.com Inc., 10-1502, 1545, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit).

Cordance originally filed the action in 2006 alleging that it held valid patents for certain features of Amazon’s “one-click” purchase system and customer feedback procedures. Cordance sought $84 million in damages alleging infringement of three patents. The jury determined that while one of the three Cordance patents had been infringed, Cordance did not have a valid patent to begin with, precluding them from recovering.

Upon review, the trial judge reversed the jury verdict and found that the patent was indeed infringed. Amazon appealed the case to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has unique subject matter jurisdiction to hear national patent and trademark cases. The three judge panel handed down the verdict on Friday, upholding the jury’s verdict that Amazon had not infringed a valid Cordance patent.

At issue in the case was Amazon’s “one-click” shopping system, which securely stores customer, shipping, and billing information allowing for online purchase in one click. The “one-click” system allows customers to bypass the shopping cart feature and to purchase the item immediately. In September of 1999, Amazon was granted patent number US 5960411 by the USPTO for the “one-click” system.

Amazon’s “one-click” system had come under attack previously in 2006, when Peter Calveley filed a request to the USPTO to re-examine the patent, citing prior art. Calveley’s request was granted and the patent was re-examined. While some of the claims were upheld, several were determined to be too broad for patent protection. Amazon later amended the claims, restricting them to shopping cart type online transactions.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement