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Patent Fever

Rushing to join the patent stampede? Hold on and take a closer look at your business. Smart dotcommers put their patents on one leg at a time.

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This story appears in the December 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In case you haven't noticed, patent fever has taken over the dotcom world. not long ago, Amazon.com made headlines when it was awarded a patent for its "One-Click" technology, a process that allows online shoppers to purchase goods with a single mouse click. With patent in hand, Amazon.com can now prohibit competitors and others from using the technology-or can charge them to do so.

Amazon.com's not the only one doing it. Corporateintelligence.com, a Web site based in New York City that offers information about intellectual property issues, estimates 57 percent more new Internet-related U.S. patents were granted in 2000 than in 1997 and 1998 combined.

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