MarketingSherpa, PETCO And Amazon


February 20, 2006

I love MarketingSherpa. If it weren’t for Anne Holland and Company, I probably would never have ended up in this industry.

And the MS folks have been really good about keeping us marketers on the right side of the law. They did a great job with CAN-SPAM 2003 when it first came out. Not two weeks ago, they did a piece on email marketers who are getting sued for using patent-infringing technology.

So I was really surprised to see this piece on PETCO. It’s a great piece, it chronicles how PETCO made their customer comment section into an important part of their website. I was ready to send it to one of my customers and then suddenly remembered that Amazon received a business process patent for customer reviews, which even included leading customers to a webform to fill out that review.

Whether Amazon is planning to pursue the patent or not, and even if PETCO’s customer review system is outside of the Amazon patent, I thought MarketingSherpa should have pointed out the legal pitfalls. Maybe they will down the road.