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April 01, 2004

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» Amazon Receives Patent on Browser Cookies; Stallman Protests from Copyfight
ZDNet UK reports that Amazon.com has received a patent on "Use of browser cookies to store structured data." Amazon claims to have invented such use on February 2, 1999. Understandably, this has angered a number of software/net activitists, including R... [Read More]

» Patent the unpatentable from Legal Pings

Amazon is in the news with a new patent. Basically, Amazon is trying to patent a method of encoding user preference information into a cookie stored at user's computer [Read More]

Comments

Cypherpunk

I don't recall the exact history of cookies, but this sounds like it could have been reasonably novel at the time. The original cookie concept was that they would be a unique identifier that would index into a database held on the server, and I think that's still how they're largely used today. This patent in effect puts the database into the cookie. There's no longer a need for a centralized server database, instead each user stores his own database entry and provides it in his cookie when he accesses the web site. That sounds pretty clever to me.

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