Friday, July 22, 2011

eBay Patents 10-Click Checkout

San Jose, CA (Reuters) — Online auctions cartel eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) and its collections and incarceration arm PayPal announced that on July 21, 2011, the two companies had jointly been awarded United States Patent No. 105960411 for their innovative 10-click “Buy it Now” purchasing pipeline.

The newly-patented buying system guides users through an intuitive, step-by-step process of clicking “Buy It Now”, entering your password, logging in because they signed your sorry ass out again, getting upsold shit you don’t want, continuing to your original destination, accepting the default quantity of 1 (otherwise known as “It”), committing to buy, clicking "Pay Now", entering a different password than your first one, clicking "Log In" again god dammit, declining to borrow money from eBay’s usury department, reviewing the goddamn purchase details since by now you’ve completely forgotten what the hell you were buying, and finally confirming the god damned payment already.

The 10-click checkout system, known colloquially as 10CLICKFU -- which many loyal users believe stands for “10 Clicks For You” -- was recently awarded top honors by the National Alliance of Reconstructive Hand Surgeons. 10CLICKFU incorporates a variable number of clicks ranging from eight to upwards of fifteen, but eBay’s patent stipulates that any purchasing system that lies to you at least nine times about the “Now” part of “Buy It Now” is covered by their invention.

The patent award came as a surprise to many analysts, since several of eBay’s related patent attempts had been rejected on the basis of prior art. In one well-publicized filing, eBay had tried to patent a purely decorative, non-operational “Keep me signed in” checkbox, but Sony’s PlayStation Network already had one just like it. And another eBay patent claim for excruciating page load times was rejected because the iPad App Store is still loading.

But eBay’s boldest and potentially furthest-reaching patent attempt was for “100% Inaccurate Button Text”. The invention claim was based on several of their UI elements, but rested primarily on the “Buy It Now” button, which eBay claims contains enough inaccuracies to render it "complete bullshit." Their patent was rejected by the US Patent Office review committee on the grounds that the Firefox browser’s “Do this automatically from now on” checkbox has been complete bullshit for over fifteen years. eBay says they will appeal the ruling because the checkbox is not technically a button.

eBay’s spokesperson Paula Smugworth announced that eBay will continue to innovate on ways to remind their users that monopolies can do whatever the hell they want. “Not that eBay is a monopoly,” she added. “But if we were a monopoly, then we could do whatever the hell we wanted. I’m just sayin’.”

eBay’s stock rose on the news, driven largely by anonymous shill bidders.

22 Comments:

Blogger Pierre-Henri Trivier said...

What, wait, you mean this RSS feed is still actually *working* ? Whaoo :P

4:49 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger Jesse Ruderman said...

I'm guessing the Firefox complaint is about bug 453455? I saved that bug from WONTFIX but it hasn't been fixed yet :(

5:01 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger Sarath said...

Long time no see :)

6:50 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger Harring Figueiredo said...

I was going to beg you to publish this on the Onion News site. But they just take fake stories.

Classic!!!

8:21 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger zacaj said...

You forgot about how they dont even GIVE you a broken "remember this choice" option when you choose to pay via credit card instead of from your bank account EVERY SINGLE TIME, which takes another THREE PAGE LOADS, and god forbid you have dialup, or are using a cell phone tether for internet or anything, so if you dont press every button as soon as the page loads, you get automatically logged out due to inactivity, and cant even tell if the payment finished or not until you get an email 40 minutes later

8:37 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger Ken Egozi said...

shame that your blog editor's Publish button require a 100-step process, otherwise we'd have gotten many more WIN posts like this one !

Ken, who keeps yegge's rss subscription active for life

8:56 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger Angela said...

Brilliant.

10:46 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger das said...

I think this explains something... that this was delayed from 1 April until 22 July implies that stevey hasn't stopped posting, they're just really, really delayed.

10:52 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger Don said...

ebay vs. Amazon Clicks-to-Purchase. eBay 18, Amazon 1. Ouch! Wow. I would have thought that eBay had progressed on the idea of "fewest clicks to purchase". It's a good payoff for everybody in the transaction -- the buyer and seller. But alas I am wrong. No wonder I gravitate to Amazon whenever possible. It takes Amazon literally 1 click. But my recent experience in purchasing HP Ink Cartridges took 18 CLICKS. And I've been using eBay and PayPal for over 12 years. Progress seems nil.www.percussive.com.

11:20 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger John Q said...

Haha very very nice :-)

11:40 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger Dmitry said...

Hi Steve,

did you see that: http://nic.ferrier.me.uk/blog/2010_10/elnode

11:42 AM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger Josh Smeaton said...

In other news, US Patent Office website has crashed due to socially engineered DDOS attack.

7:23 PM, July 22, 2011  
Blogger Ron Wolf said...

Rumor is that that eBay is working on new improvements to including doubling the number of clicks and adding new logon steps. However, they are concerned about infringing on Yahoo's IP covering multiple redundant repeated logon requests.

9:00 PM, July 23, 2011  
Blogger cabhishek said...

hilarious .. your writing style reminds me of anthony bourdain..

11:43 PM, July 23, 2011  
Blogger ben said...

After all this waiting another yeggeblog? And then only such a short one? Oh wait is the "Hand Surgeons" reference maybe not about the 10 clicks but about him not being able to write anymore? If so, i wish a good recovery. Looking forward to more and longer yeggeblogs.

2:14 AM, July 24, 2011  
Blogger Paul Hobbs said...

Hahaha nice one. Keep posting! :-)

10:17 AM, July 25, 2011  
Blogger Emil said...

You are back! Good memories; Dad's Chilli recipe comes to mind... :)

1:19 PM, July 25, 2011  
Blogger Alex Angas said...

You missed a mention of another worthy eBay invention. The "Sell Your Item: Description HTML Auto-Mangler". Standards? Heck, our HTML can't even be parsed!

4:32 PM, July 25, 2011  
Blogger thelittlelisper said...

Still waiting for that Clojure post Steve. Hopefully something constructive.

1:28 AM, July 26, 2011  
Blogger MCAndre said...

There are some for whom the Apple Human Interface Guidelines can offer no aid. They are known as businessmen, because it is their business to keep aloof of such minor details.

2:12 AM, July 26, 2011  
Blogger E. Hekkert said...

@zacaj

...god forbid you have dialup.

People who still have an ancient dailup connection shouldn't be on the internet.

4:50 AM, July 29, 2011  
Blogger Epsilon Given said...

Fantastic! I've grown to be completely against patents and the patent system--but this post almost makes it worthwhile!

(I won't go into details why I'm against patents here, but I'll just say my metamorphosis started with learning the evils of software patents.)

12:42 PM, August 18, 2011  

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