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MacBytes
Feb 25, 2008, 11:08 AM
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Category: News and Press Releases
Link: Apple faces business method suit (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080225120803)
Description:: Case highlights absurd state of patent law

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Peace
Feb 25, 2008, 11:10 AM
"The patent covers a system where gift cards for all sorts of goods could be sold at physical stores, then redeemed online by recipients of the cards. According to the claim, the couple contacted Apple in 2005, when the company released iTunes Custom Cards that were very similar to the (not yet issued) patent.

iTunes gift cards (available at retail, redeemable online) have been available since at least 2003, so there's prior art from Apple and very likely a host of others predating that."


This won't last long.:rolleyes:

TEG
Feb 25, 2008, 11:26 AM
Aside from this being on Engadget on Thursday, this may have some merit. The patent is for the purchase of a physical media (like a gift card) that is for the redemption of a particular product (like a certain album). Most people have though that this covers the regular dollar amount gift cards, it does not. Apple has been selling cards at Starbucks for particular albums and that is what the patent covers. Some people have suggested that this should also apply to things like the X-BOX Live Cards, however, nothing is recieved in that deal, only access to the network, unlike the iTunes cards which allow you to download an album and then do (nearly) anything you want with it.

TEG

QuarterSwede
Feb 25, 2008, 06:01 PM
Aside from this being on Engadget on Thursday, this may have some merit. The patent is for the purchase of a physical media (like a gift card) that is for the redemption of a particular product (like a certain album). Most people have though that this covers the regular dollar amount gift cards, it does not. Apple has been selling cards at Starbucks for particular albums and that is what the patent covers. Some people have suggested that this should also apply to things like the X-BOX Live Cards, however, nothing is recieved in that deal, only access to the network, unlike the iTunes cards which allow you to download an album and then do (nearly) anything you want with it.

TEG
Are you telling me there will be nitpicking over this? What a waste of MY tax money.

mkrishnan
Feb 25, 2008, 06:19 PM
Unlike any previous method of payment for Internet commerce in the past, there is no account, credit, or other means of electronic payment required for the buyer in the transaction. The proof is within the content itself. The content becomes the verification of a sale. Internet merchandisers may provide a verification page for each sale, which they intend to be printed by the user. These types of verification pages are excellent examples of specific URL information that can be determined ahead of time and sold whether it is for merchandise or content media.

Interesting... the patent talks in a few places about the idea that the device validates the user as eligible in a broad sense (e.g. old enough) to receive the content. But it isn't clear that Apple has ever used this kind of concept. I thought the Starbucks cards required an iTunes account? The iTunes account verifies certain aspects of eligibility (e.g. U.S. residency).

But then again, this is all debatable. And debatable equals litigatable! :rolleyes: