Amazon now has two patents whose implications for e-commerce are being widely discussed: U.S. Patent No. 5,960,411 (’411 patent), issued Sept. 28, 1999, relating to Amazon’s “1-Click” product-ordering technique, and U.S. Patent No. 6,029,141 (’141 patent), issued Feb. 22, relating to web sites providing compensation for customer referrals. Particularly since Amazon has shown its willingness to enforce its patents by suing competitor barnesandnoble.com on the ’411 patent, there is keen interest in whether Amazon will pursue a similar course with its ’141 patent.

It is widely known by now that Amazon obtained a preliminary injunction on Dec.1 as part of its continuing lawsuit against barnesandnoble. Amazon.com Inc. v. Barnesandnoble.com. Inc., No. C99-1695P (W.D. Wash., complaint filed Oct. 21, 1999). Amazon described its 1-Click technique in its complaint against barnesandnoble as a “major innovation in e-commerce,” since “it allows customers to order, pay for, and arrange for delivery of any item Amazon.com sells, all with a single click of the mouse.”

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