System and method for communicating information relating to a network resource

  • US 6,336,131 B1
  • Filed: 04/05/2000
  • Issued: 01/01/2002
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/08/1996
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A client computer that is operated by a user and is programmed to:

  • (a) display a first document in a web browser window on a display screen associated with the client computer, wherein the first document has a resource identifier associated with it and is retrieved over a network from a first web server using HTTP protocol, wherein the first document is a hypertext document that includes graphical display elements and also includes links to linked documents, and wherein the first document is published by a first online merchant and provides information about a first item that is available for purchase from the first online merchant;

    (b) detect that a document providing information about the first item is being displayed on the display screen associated with the client computer;

    (c) upon detecting that a document providing information about the first item is being displayed on the display screen associated with the client computer, automatically activate a competitive information display element on the display screen associated with the client computer, wherein the competitive information display element is not part of or embedded into the first document that is displayed in the web browser window, wherein the activation of the competitive information display element signifies that competitive information relating to the first item is likely available, and wherein the competitive information display element is activated in response to detecting that a document providing information about the first item is being displayed on the display screen;

    (d) monitor the user'"'"'s selection of the activated competitive information display element;

    (e) detect that the user wishes to display a document from a second online merchant;

    (f) display a second document in a web browser window on the display screen associated with the client computer, wherein the second document has a resource identifier associated with it and is retrieved over a network from a second web server using HTTP protocol, wherein the second document is a hypertext document that includes graphical display elements and also includes links to linked documents, and wherein the second document is published by the second online merchant and provides information about a second item that is available for purchase from the second online merchant;

    (g) detect that a document providing information about the second item is being displayed on the display screen associated with the client computer;

    (h) upon detecting that a document providing information about the second item is being displayed on the display screen associated with the client computer, automatically activate the competitive information display element on the display screen associated with the client computer, wherein the competitive information display element is not part of or embedded into the second document that is displayed in the web browser window, wherein the activation of the competitive information display element signifies that competitive information relating to the second item is likely available, and wherein the competitive information display element is activated in response to detecting that a document providing information about the second item is being displayed on the display screen;

    (i) monitor the user'"'"'s selection of the activated competitive information display element;

    (j) detect that the user has selected the activated competitive information display element;

    (k) upon detecting that the user has selected the activated competitive information display element, display a competitive information document, wherein the competitive information document is retrieved by the client computer over the network from a competitive information server that is not related to the first server or the second server, and wherein the competitive information document has at least one link to a linked document, wherein the competitive information document is targeted to users that may purchase the second item and is displayed in response to detecting that the user has selected the activated competitive information display element, wherein the competitive information document is published by an entity that is different than the second online merchant, and wherein the competitive information document includes price-competitive information from a third online merchant, wherein the third online merchant competes with the second online merchant, and wherein the price-competitive information included in the competitive information document comprises at least one price for the second item that is less expensive than the price offered by the second online merchant;

    (l) monitor the user'"'"'s selection of a link included within the competitive information document;

    (m) detect that the user has selected the link included within the competitive information document;

    (n) upon detecting that the user selected the link from the competitive information document, display a competitive merchant document, wherein the competitive merchant document is published by the third online merchant; and

    (o) allow the user to place an order for the second item from the third online merchant.

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