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.