Via the Out-Law.com Weekly Round-Up, we are led to the Out-Law.com article US Patent Office decimates Amazon’s 1-Click Patent, relating the story of how blogger Peter Calveley from Auckland, New Zealand has almost singlehandedly torpedoed many claims in Amazon’s odious and to this observer patently obvious 1-Click patent. Based largely on Calveley’s efforts, 21 of 26 claims have been “non-finally” rejected by the USPTO pursuant to the re-examination request.
This case shows the tip of the iceberg of USPTO incompetence. Why did it take a re-examination request to find all of the prior art that was not found initially? In addition, the fact that the USPTO did not reject the other 5 of 26 claims means that the USPTO still has not understood the new requirements of recent Supreme Court and Federal Circuit decisions on obviousness and the limits of patentability.
Try finding any notice or trace of this October 9, 2007 office action at the USPTO website through their search options. The search engine at the USPTO web presence is a hopeless chaos. It is really incredible that this kind of stone-age technology is being offered to the public. And it is no wonder that the USPTO can not find “prior art”. Their search engine for that is going to be no better than what we see here. Hopeless.
But Calveley gives us the essential hint when he writes:
“To read the original document, go to USPTO PAIR access site, choose the “Control Number” radio button, enter 90/007,946 and press the “Submit” button.“
Simple, what? In our digital age you need WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS at a blog to find a USPTO document at the USPTO website? ARE YOU KIDDING? Just a few numbers to plug in and radio buttons to select, that’s all. No one-click technology here, that’s for sure. We did all that and still did not find the document. What you now have to do at the web page so opened at the USPTO is to further – non-intuitively – click the tab “Image File Wrapper” – a terminology which means nothing to almost anyone in the world except the USPTO – and THEN you will get
a page with a list of documents in this case,
the sheer number of which is evidence in itself for the red-taped document chaos which pervades the USPTO.
Somewhere in that list you will then find Reexam – Non-Final Action and when that item is clicked, you will have access to the October 9 office action of the USPTO in this case. If you do not happen to have that magic number 90/007,946 at your fingertips, the odds of finding that document at the USPTO website are limited for most and closed for many. Now that is what we call “horse and buggy search technology”.
To view the contents of the actual re-examination request, go to Calveley’s blog. Or try to find it in the Image File Wrapper documents at the USPTO – if you have the time for that kind searching. Try it on your own first. When all esle fails….
what you are looking for is Reexam – Affidavit/Decl/Exhibit Filed by 3rd Party.
As for Calveley, someone should award him a medal. Three cheers for you, sir. Well done!