Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mobile banking patents

The number of patents that have been lodged to claim ownership of the concept of using a mobile phone to make a payment is staggering. Because this is important to me, I have tried to stay on top of any Intellectual Property claim that is made in this space, and I am amazed. Maybe because it is sheer magic to see a payment transaction being performed by means of a hand-held device that makes people think they own the concept.

It is unlikely that any of the overall claims regarding mobile payments will ever stand the test of proper patentability. The concept is too generic and obvious (?). Also some of the existing prior art (that has been tested in court) did not stand up to scrutiny. (the Vazvan patent). I am much more interested in the claims that is being made of inventions that are closely related to mobile payments. As the industry and the technology starts to mature, it is likely that some of these patents will become much more relevant.

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