Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Work the system

Author:Pete Jansson
Posted:2/28/2000; 12:28:30 PM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 2/27/00
Msg #:15322 (In response to 15301)
Prev/Next:15321 / 15323

- Patent-holders are required to license a patent for a reasonable license fee, in order to promote the technology

- "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." More specifically, e-commerce significantly levels the playing field so that small operations can market almost as easily as large ones.

Based on these two concepts, I think that everyone who has an e-commerce site that implements 1-click should attempt to license 1-click from Amazon; if the license fee is unreasonable for the small sites, then there may be grounds to launch a class-action suit against Amazon for unreasonable license fees (there must be an attorney out there who's willing to take a shot at this target). If the suit were successful, then the price would be reduced to a point where Amazon would no longer be able to use the patent strategy as a barrier-of-entry to its main competition (Barnes and Noble, for example), and the whole strategy might fail.

This might be an opportunity to show that the Internet economy is really a new one, and that some of the old rules don't apply.

The patent system was supposed to promote technology and sharing of information, while ensuring compensation for inventors; it wasn't supposed to restrict competition. We might have a chance to make it work that way in this case...

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