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To understand more about how we use cookies, or for information on how to change your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. and Barnes & settle 1-Click patent lawsuit and rival book seller Barnes & have settled what was the internet’s highest profile patent dispute, according to media reports. Details of the settlement are unknown. The dispute was over’s 1-Click patent which allows its customers to make repeat purchases at the site with just one mouse click.07 Mar 2002 sued Barnes & in 1999, alleging infringement of its business method patent by allowing its customers to make repeat purchases in a similar method to that described in the patent. Barnes & argued that the patent should be declared invalid. Patents for business methods are impossible to obtain in most countries, but valid in the US.

Critics of’s patent have long argued that it gives the company an unfair monopoly on what amounts to little more than an efficient means of using standard technology. The risk, they point out, is that other web sites must make their shopping systems deliberately less efficient to avoid infringement, which in effect stifles e-commerce.

Currently, Barnes & customers require a minimum of two clicks of the mouse to make a purchase. The company changed its single-click system to comply with a court injunction obtained against it by Later, Barnes & won a repeal of that injunction pending the resolution of the court case, but it did not return to the single-click system.

Many observers of the case will be disappointed that the companies have settled, rather than going to court and obtaining judicial guidance on what is an important and highly controversial area of e-commerce law.

In a joint statement, the companies said that the terms of the settlement are confidential.