Times To Patent Their Phone Micropayment Scheme

from the *sigh* dept

Ah well. On Wednesday we posted a story about how the Times Online was going to start charging viewers for content. The interesting thing was that they were going to bill them by having visitors put in their phone numbers - and then the charge would show up on the phone bill. Now comes the news that they're trying to patent this system. So, even if they don't make money off of subscription fees, they're hoping to cash out by forcing anyone else who wants to use a similar system to pay them licensing fees. Of course, in 1998 when I was working at an e-commerce company I remember dealing with a company called eCharge, who wanted to set up a billing option that was very similar, using phone numbers instead of credit cards. So, there's probably quite a bit of "prior art" out there.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.