Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,026
17,408



With Apple announcing its new Passbook digital wallet app for iOS 6 last month, speculation regarding the inclusion of near field communications (NFC) and mobile payment capabilities for future iOS devices has begun to increase. The speculation comes amid rumors of iPhone prototypes with NFC, although Apple has been said to be intentionally moving slowly on the mobile payment front.

itravel_patent_1.jpg



Now that Passbook has been revealed, today's granting of a new Apple patent for NFC-enabled transportation ticketing takes on additional significance. As noted by Unwired View, the disclosed "iTravel" application would handle a broad array of functions to assist with travel logistics.
The main focus of the patent is how you would use your next iPhone with NFC chip at the airport check-in. It includes loading your ID info such as picture, retinal scan and fingerprint data from modern passports with embedded radio frequency identification tags. Collecting your ticket information from reservation confirmation e-mails/notifications, or extracting reservation images via optical character recognition software, barcode-reading software, or QR-code-reading software. Providing the necessary information at the NFC equipped check-in counter, and receiving the boarding pass with luggage info in exchange. Using the stored ID to pass through airport security, etc.
itravel_patent_2.jpg




Apple's iTravel patent application has been known for some time, having been filed in September 2008 and published for public viewing in April 2010. But with the patent now having been granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple has broader protections should it choose to launch such an application.

itravel_patent_3.jpg



It is unusual for Apple to so thoroughly document an actual iOS application concept that has yet to see the light of day in a patent application, and it is unclear exactly why Apple has chosen to do so. But with NFC technology being a bit slower to establish itself than originally hoped, perhaps Apple thought it would be able to move faster on its idea. Alternatively, Apple may have already discarded this specific implementation, but with Passbook making an appearance later this year and NFC perhaps also being included, Apple's iTravel concept may still find its way into iOS devices in some form.

Article Link: Apple Wins Patent for NFC-Enabled 'iTravel' Transportation Ticketing App
 

Mackan

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2007
1,400
73
Don't understand why patents like these are given. What a screwed up system.
 

KanosWRX

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2008
374
292
WTF, how are patents given for this!!! The patent office screws up once again!! They will give a patent for just about anything. I want a Patent for typing the letter U after the letter F.
 

KanosWRX

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2008
374
292
For patenting, hardware and/or highly detailed software (like the above) should be allowed. Get rid of all this 'general' **** that clogs up the courts

Their is nothing specific or unique about anything that this software is doing, its general software that uses data from other sources... that's done every day by thousands of apps.... this is going to clog up courts when another company does the same thing using a link in an email from united airlines or something that takes you to their portal and loads a ticket in their app or something... its insane that this gets a patent. Absolutely no new ideas presented at all.
 

jmcrutch

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2010
249
78
WTF, how are patents given for this!!! The patent office screws up once again!! They will give a patent for just about anything. I want a Patent for typing the letter U after the letter F.

Pretty sure patents were given for the inventors of the typewriter, back when the concept was "novel."
 

Lailoken

macrumors member
Nov 21, 2006
34
0
For patenting, hardware and/or highly detailed software (like the above) should be allowed. Get rid of all this 'general' **** that clogs up the courts

But not things that have existed (like the above) in a form for centuries.

Tacking on a " ... , but on a computer" does not make it a new idea worthy of protecting.

So a: "Passbook where you store your itinerary .... but on a COMPUTER!"

Really?

Of course this would require that people actually read and evaluate patents, and we all know this will never happen, and that is why I really think patents in general and software patents in particular should just be eradicated and people should rather move to trade secrets and first-to-market.

That would benefit the consumer of course, and you would not want that, right?

Currently the patent trolling going on at the moment is starting to really annoy everyone.
 

jmcrutch

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2010
249
78
It amazes me that people continue to bash Apple for applying for patents for novel concepts that they come up with. If they don't apply for one, someone else will. The USPTO exists and will issue patents when called for according to the laws, rules, and regulations that exist, and based on the experience and expertise of those working at the USPTO. Patents were created by law to foster invention, yet everyone seems to think that all they do is stymie it. Write to your congressman if you don't like the laws.
 

KanosWRX

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2008
374
292
Pretty sure patents were given for the inventors of the typewriter, back when the concept was "novel."

I would hope so, the Type Writer was a piece of machinery that revolutionized how everyone wrote documents and letters or anything on paper. It was a mechanical device that did something no one had ever seen before. That's not what Apple is patenting here though or anything like it. If your trying to compare Apple to the inventor of the type writer you are crazy. It seriously would be more like someone invented the type writer then Apple came along and patented the semi colon button. It was a character that already existed, they just made another button for it... worthless patents by Apple it will never end.
 

whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,601
694
Cork, Ireland.
For patenting, hardware and/or highly detailed software (like the above) should be allowed. Get rid of all this 'general' **** that clogs up the courts

Is there more to this patent than "Use NFC for airport check-in & reservations". Are we going to see a patent for every effective usage of NFC? "Use NFC for store checkout" patent. "Use NFC to unlock & start your car" patent.

Is there some design/implementation innovation here? Or are they just patenting a business idea?
 

cvaldes

macrumors 68040
Dec 14, 2006
3,237
0
somewhere else
It baffles me why in areas such like this, where open standards should prevail, someone applies for patents.

Oh wait, it's Apple.
Singling out Apple is very close to trolling in light of the fact that Apple does not submit the most patent applications.

The patent system is massively screwed up, but it certainly isn't Apple's fault. Like everyone else, they have to play the game with the existing rules otherwise a competitor will play by the rules and use them against Apple.

Note that the US Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) defines the ability for the state to protect ideas and inventions. The first US patent was granted a year later in 1790. The US patent system dutifully took applications for 186 years before Apple was formed as a company.

Other countries have similar laws protecting inventions, so scrapping the US patent system is not a final solution.
 

jmcrutch

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2010
249
78
The invention of a typewriter was huge. It can't be compared to patents "like this one".

I wasn't comparing the invention of the typewriter to the creation of this software/hardware. I was replying to the poster who wrote that he "wanted a patent for typing the letters U and F."
 

bmturney

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2008
73
0
I just don't see NFC being HUGE...

Everyone makes a big deal about NFC payment systems... and I just don't see it as becoming HUGE like everyone makes it out to be... the potential for fraud and theft just seems a little too high... even if there is a fool proof way of securing your devices... with people still suffering from ID theft on a daily basis... I just do not see the mass public seeing past the potential for fraud and flocking to embrace yet another way for thieves and scum bags to steal money from you yet AGAIN...
 

Bezetos

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2012
739
0
far away from an Apple store
It amazes me that people continue to bash Apple for applying for patents for novel concepts that they come up with. If they don't apply for one, someone else will. The USPTO exists and will issue patents when called for according to the laws, rules, and regulations that exist, and based on the experience and expertise of those working at the USPTO. Patents were created by law to foster invention, yet everyone seems to think that all they do is stymie it. Write to your congressman if you don't like the laws.

This only works if:
1. The concept that a company applies for is genuinely novel
2. People working at USPTO have actual experience and expertise
3. Patents are granted after thoroughly checking prior art and previous patents

Unfortunately most of the above is fiction, thus patents currently hinder innovation.
 

jmcrutch

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2010
249
78
The concept of the typewriter was never novel. Not only are you wrong, but you used a terrible analogy.

Anything that has not previously existed and then comes into existence by one's invention is, by definition, novel.

Merriam-Webster's definition of "Novel" : new and not resembling something formerly known or used.


Or are you suggesting that the typewriter has existed since the Big Bang?
 

jmcrutch

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2010
249
78
This only works if:
1. The concept that a company applies for is genuinely novel
2. People working at USPTO have actual experience and expertise
3. Patents are granted after thoroughly checking prior art and previous patents

Unfortunately most of the above is fiction, thus patents currently hinder innovation.

Nevertheless, that is the system that is in place. Thus, if Apple doesn't apply for this patent, someone else will.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.