in Considerations

Google SMS Payment Patent

I have gone through this document from the US Patent & Trademark Office.

It describes the recent patent obtained by Google for SMS payment.

Let’s just have a look at the abstract:

A computer-implemented method of effectuating an electronic on-line payment includes receiving at a computer server system a text message from a payor containing a payment request representing a payment amount sent by a payor device operating independently of the computer server system, determining a payment amount associated with the text message and debiting a payor account for an amount corresponding to the amount of the payment request, and crediting an account of a payee that is independent of the computer server system.

I am starting to think that the US Patent mechanism has something wrong.

If you have time you should try to read that document and wonder how this could happen.

Just to be clear. Congratulations to Google for being able to obtain this patent but reading it I think there is nothing new in the concept. So, why do they want to do that?

Well, I think there are many options to be considered:

  • They may want to get this patent before any other of their competitor will do the same.
  • On the other side we may think that they are trying to cash out with the patent system.

There is one single detail that makes me think that the Patent system is somehow wrong. If you look at the document there is a crystal clear sentence that says:

This invention relates to computer-enabled payment systems and methods, and more particularly to payment systems that make use of text messaging.

I would like to focus on the word “invention“.  Let’s have a look at the Patent Office definition of invention:

 a new, useful process, machine, improvement, etc., that did not exist previously and that is recognized as the product of some unique intuition or genius, as distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship.

Ok. Is the invention described in the patent new and not existing before ?

Why do I blog this? Patents should be rejected if they are already proven to be common.