On October 2, 2000, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard the appeal in the case of Amazon.com, Inc. v. Barnesandnoble.com, Inc. This appeal revolves around the alleged infringement by Barnesandnoble.com of a one-click web-shopping system patented by Amazon.com. The one-click system is among a series of recent controversial "business method" patents. According to some, business methods are legitimate inventions that deserve the protection of the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). According to others, business methods are unworthy of patent protection and may inhibit innovation in e-commerce. The outcome of this case has been widely anticipated by both sides of the business method patent debate as a signal that these patents will or will not be upheld by courts.
Stephen Dirksen et al., Who’s Afraid of amazon.com v. barnesandnoble.com?, 1 Duke Law & Technology Review (2001)