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Apple files patent for in-app purchasing

updated 09:15 pm EDT, Sat October 8, 2011

Apple may trump rivals, Lodsys with in-app patent

Apple is hoping to corner the app market with a USPTO patent filing published Thursday. A submission for "In Application Purchasing" appears to cover the basics of what most app stores use today, letting users buy content from within an app from an outside content store as though it were from within the app. Some variants can put up an overlay to bring up the purchase, and the app itself could be an HTML5 web app, not just native.

Some of the patent appears to describe a specific process. As such, it's not necessarily a universal patent. although many of the top level features are familiar.

The patent was originally filed on April 26 of last year.

If upheld, the patent could create trouble for Google, Microsoft, and RIM, all of whom have recently or will be implementing in-app purchasing. Some of the patent claims might not be upheld, but others could be broad enough to cover common technology.

A granted patent could theoretically complicate Lodsys' patent lawsuit campaign. Lodsys alleges that it already has patents covering in-app purchasing and could run into a conflict with Apple over what amounts to variations on similar techniques.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bengt77

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Come on already!

    This is just bullshit. Please turn this one down, dear patent application office. This is such a thing that everybody uses now and works really well. Don't let anybody, not even Apple, have control over this method, pretty please.

  1. dashiel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The only

    justification for this is as a strategy against Lodsys or similar.

  1. Paco01

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Defensive move

    I also think it's for fighting off the patent trolls. If you see how many companies are suing using stupid patents...

  1. facebook_Terrin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    No Problem

    Amazon has a patent on one click purchasing. Why can't app have a patent on in app purchasing?

  1. facebook_Tim

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    comment title

    It sounds like they should do this simply to protect their developers first, THEN to limit competition.

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