Prepaid Mobile Phone Providers Have To Pay The Patent Toll Master

from the pay-up! dept

A few mobile operators, including Cingular, have apparently lost a patent lawsuit involving a patent over offering “prepaid” accounts. The firms now have to pay $130 million for what appears to be a questionable patent. Prepaid accounts, which are much more popular outside the US than within, are a pretty straightforward concept. Instead of buying a regular monthly “subscription,” users prepay, and get a certain number of minutes. By prepaying, the operators avoid having any credit risk, as they already have the money. Who knew that such an idea was patentable? Once again, isn’t it about time the patent office came up with a better test for obviousness?

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Comments on “Prepaid Mobile Phone Providers Have To Pay The Patent Toll Master”

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tracelan says:

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Software patents are a bad idea. Maybe it sounded good but the results have not been good in anyway. They hurt small innovative startups and benefit huge corporations. The patent office will give a patent for ANYTHING. This is a big problem. I say go back to the way it was, software should not be patentable. That will never happen though because lawyers are making a killing filing software patents. The lawyers will never let them die.

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