Amazon was created to be an online selling site. In 1995, Amazon started out as an online bookstore, but they didn’t stop there. In 1998, already the most successful internet merchant, Amazon expanded into selling other consumer products, from a variety of companies, through its internet site.
In keeping with the vision to be a powerful internet merchant, Amazon developed ‘1-click’ technology, and in 1999 was granted the ‘1-click’ patent in the U.S. The life of a patent is 20 years from the filing date, so the 1-click patent expired 2 years ago, on September 11, 2017 (it was filed in 1997). This patent allowed Amazon to dominate the online retail business, because consumers could buy a product with 1 click from Amazon only– in the U.S. that is. Europe and other countries denied Amazon the patent. There has been a lot of controversy over the patent, as many competitors and others have argued that the patent should never have been granted for various reasons. Amazon survived a re-exam however, which is when the patent is challenged for validity, and had a monopoly on 1-click technology after the patent was granted, ie: 18 years, from 1999 to 2017. During that time Amazon continued to innovate and grow, as it still does today. Amazon now has over 10,000 issued patents.
Amazon has continued to innovate and now has over 10,000 patents.