The digital world we live in has made many things complicated. With the internet, the whole world is connected. Technology is moving at such a fast pace it is often difficult to determine who came up with what idea first. This is why trademark and copyright laws have become so important. Even the most seemingly innocent action may bring about legal troubles.
Shopping on like has become an everyday occurrence for many of us. It is so convenient to sit and browse a website looking for the exact item we want without spending time and money getting in a car and searching through many stores to locate the same thing. The process of buying something online involves many different programming copyrights. Who was the first business to offer online shopping? Who was the first online business to come up with the “shopping cart” idea? You can imagine as you think about the steps required to shop online that it took creativity and technical knowledge. Of course other web sites want to make their online experience as simple for customers so seeing processes on other sites that do that starts the copyright infringement trouble.
Take, for instance, the trouble Amazon had. Amazon had been granted a patent for a 1-click technology dated September 28, 1999. This technology is also known as one-click buying, and allows customers to make online purchases in a single click. Customers no longer have to manually input billing and shipping information each time they purchase an item. Instead, 1-click uses the billing address and credit card and/or other payment information that can be kept on file in the user’s account.
There have been several other patent disputes that surround 1-click technology, including a patent infringement lawsuit that was filed against Barnes & Noble back in 1999; which was only a month after Amazon’s 1-click patent was issued. Barnes & Noble was offering a checkout option that was called “Express Lane,” which also happened to enable shoppers to purchase an item with one click. This lawsuit was settled privately in 2002; however, the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Keeping up with technology and the processes behind it is extremely important to businesses. Competition is fierce in the digital world and any edge that a company has to make the online experience more enjoyable and easier for its customers must be protected.