Amazon Patent Engine Rumbles On


Say what you will about the state of the patent industry (and I know you will), has made some bold moves when it comes to protecting its intellectual property. Last year it applied for a patent related to online storage based on its S3 architecture, and Slashdot today points us to Amazon’s patent for displaying 404 errors. That’s right, this patent is no longer pending, it has been granted. Errors, indeed.



To be hypercritical here, that’s not so much a “patent for displaying 404 errors,” as it is a method of redirecting visitors to a page that works; it makes sense for AMZN to protect their method of doing so. If a product page is moved or otherwise likely to come up 404, AMZN will lose that customer, because whatever that product is, more times than not, it is available elsewhere on the internet. Additionally, the method (distinct from the patent) is a benefit to everyone. I’d rather be routed, intelligently, to a working analogue of the page than get a browser error.

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