Amazon was granted a patent in July of 2018 for Message Shopping Over an Electronic Marketplace. This patent is broad in nature and seems to shore up Amazon’s right to use messaging services to respond to Customers/Searchers who express demand for particular items by searching through a database of products in a marketplace. The Amazon patent outlines how the system will identify products and respond with product options to the Messaging system searchers.
The patent variously refers to the technology as a Message Shopping Application, shop in an electronic marketplace, electronic commerce system, a virtual shopping cart, and many other broad descriptions and adjectives to lay claim to “message shopping.”
One of the key doctrines here is “search inside a marketplace”. In this marketplace the user or searcher would include various product attributes or variations they wish to purchase, and the computer system would search through a product database creating a ‘match score’ for
They outline some high level “message shopping” scenarios that they wish to patent. In their own words, “Through the use of electronic messages, such as email, Short Message Service (SMS) text messages, and instant messages, or any other electronic message service of the like, customers may shop for a multitude of items without extensive interaction with an electronic commerce system”.
The nuts and bolts of this patent is a search functionality that allows users to send a text, email or similar message application to “search” for a product they are seeking, while in the background, algorithms will run to find the right product match. Thus ensues an electronic conversation with the user allowing various product options to be selected. The descriptions of the conversation mechanics and what the system would actually say
Typical phrases you might find in this patent are: “Plurality of computing devices” and “Various applications and/or other functionality may be executed in the computing device”
There are many uses of “the system may”, as is the system may do this or may do that. An example is where they describe how it will match products to the users request, “the electronic commerce system may employ a matching algorithm or other approaches”.
Amazon includes the now famous personalization “Recommended Items” in this patent for Users searching for products that have no exact product match.
Is this technology land grabbing, or is this a real application under consideration at Amazon?