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While that may technically he the case, the USPTO has allowed the "application" of ideas to be so broad as to effectively be just a patent on ideas.

There are a million different ways you could implement a "one click checkout" yet the USPTO granted a "one click checkout" patent to Amazon. And countless similar parents exist today. (podcast patent, online shopping cart patent, a patent on making 'toast' and on and on)




Having a patent doesn't mean the patent is valid. I think something like 50% of patents are declared invalid during litigation. (This obviously doesn't mean 50% of patents are invalid, since you probably don't go to trial unless you think you have a reasonable chance of winning).

Plus, a lot of those software patents are not valid[0]. The validity of software patents in general and what qualifies as patentable with regards to software is still an open question.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilski_v._Kappos




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