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Apple Files Patent For “In-App Purchases”

There has been a patent war going on between different mobile manufacturers and specially between Apple and Samsung. Few years back Apple introduced “In Application purchase” with the combined launch of iOS 3 and iPhone 3GS. If you are new to this then “In Application purchase”  gives a purchasing interface within an application which let users to buy a product from another source without leaving the application.

Originally Lodsys Applied for In App Purchase right in 2006 with a title “Customer-based product design module” and got it approved in  November 2009  . Whereas Apple filed a patent for In App purchase in 2010 a year after the release of iOS3. Therefore Since the launch of iOS 3, Apple has been paying large amount of license fee to Lodsys on each transaction. This had been going like this since long and developers from both side were in a wait-and-see position.

According to tomsguide, Apple has filed another patent document for In App Purchase knowing Lodsys’ has already got the patent rights.

Apple’s in app purchases explicitly describe the offer of a product purchase, a translucent purchase interface, a partially transparent purchase interface, an application server targeting the app to a user, and advertisement that could represent an application, as well as an opportunity to purchase a product directly from a separate store. Apple’s pitch is an idea that would help application developers to actually sell their product, even if they have to offer it initially free of charge to attract users: “Consumers can be extremely fickle and accordingly many different things can cause a consumer to walk away from a potential purchase. Each step in the purchasing process presents a new opportunity for the consumer to decide not to purchase a product,” the patent application reads.

From USPTO which hold the exact filed patent description says:

The present technology provides a purchasing interface within an application that allows users to purchase a product from another source without leaving the application. The application offers a product for purchase, and a user, desiring to purchase the product can provide an input effective to cause a purchasing interface to be displayed. While the purchasing interface, or information presented therein, comes from the product source, which is different than the application source, it is presented in such a fashion that gives the impression to the user that they are purchasing the product directly from the application.

Although this new “In Application Purchase” concept given in fresh filed patent sounds quite similar to the Lodsys patent but Apple’s idea is much more specific. Now all we can do is wait and see the decision.

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