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What is the reason for a website receiving a US Patent?
2/10/2013 00:04

What is the reason for a website receiving a US Patent?

I have never seen any website advertise that they have a US Patent for the manner in which they are conducting their online business.

While browsing for a new book on, I noticed the following at the bottom of their page
US Patent Number 7,877,315 | Copyright © 2004 - 2013 All Rights Reserved.

Here is the link for their Patent:

Q:  I do not understand what or how this is legally binding?

Q:  What are the penalties for using like applications?

Thanks, Scott
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2/10/2013 01:24
Here is a good article about the current software patent legal decisions.
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Posted By awnry
5/1/2013 15:27
The reason for a website receiving a patent is the same reason that any other kind of software program would receive a patent; it provides unique functionality, either in the form of a web application (think Facebook, GMail,, etc.) or some other form of a highly dynamic, interactive website.

Patenting a website would only make sense if it is dynamic/interactive. If the website simply contains static content that does not change and is not interactive, there would be no reason for a patent as copyright protection (and possibly trademark protection, depending on the kind of intellectual property in question) would be sufficient to protect the website's intellectual property.

The first real life example of a patented website that comes to mind is Amazon; it's well known that their one-click ordering process was patented in ~1999. (I think this may have been overturned later after prior art was established, but you get the idea.)

Note: I am not a lawyer. I've just spent a great deal of time researching intellectual property protection during the legal pursuits with my company and my own intellectual property.
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