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Apple wins Passbook-like, NFC-driven 'iTravel' patent

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday officially awarded Apple ownership of its "iTravel" concept for e-ticketing with an NFC-equipped iPhone.

U.S. Patent No. 8,215,546, entitled "System and Method for Transportation Check-In," was granted to Apple this week. First filed with the USPTO in 2008, the invention describes a system for ticketing and identification via near-field communications on a portable device like an iPhone.

"The handheld device may store and transmit travel reservations and traveler identifications using a travel management application," the patent reads. "Various methods may be employed to acquire the reservation and identification information on the handheld device."

In one example, users can make travel reservations via the so-called "iTravel" application. Similar data can also be automatically retrieved from an e-mail, a website, another NFC-enabled device, or a carrier-provided confirmation number.

The system could also identify a user by scanning a radio frequency identification tag embedded in a government-issued ID, like a passport. An ID number can also be entered via the travel management application, prompting the "iTravel" application to download the user's identification information from the issuing authority.

Patent


Illustrations that accompany the patent show an iPhone equipped with a near-field communications chip. The iTravel application is depicted with an icon of an airplane on the iOS home screen.

The iTravel concept is a more full-featured implementation of Apple's new Passbook application, which will be part of iOS 6 when it launches this fall. Unveiled in June, Passbook organizes various items like movie or sporting event tickets, store membership cards, and airplane boarding passes.

Passbook will feature geolocation with the iPhone, allowing users to automatically have the appropriate card pulled up when they visit a specific location. For example, when a user goes to Starbucks, they will see their membership card available to scan.

Passbook


The unveiling of Passbook has prompted speculation that Apple plans to add a near-field communications chip to its anticipated sixth-generation iPhone, expected to debut this fall. With wireless NFC capabilities, Apple's next iPhone could serve as an e-wallet and e-ticketing device.

Apple has been rumored for years to include NFC technology in a future iPhone, but to date no iPhone models have included an integrated NFC chip. Competing handsets, like Google's Nexus S, have included NFC chips, but e-wallet payments have yet to take off with services like Google Wallet.
post #2 of 25
Meanwhile Google files very similar patents as fast as it can read Apple's filings ...
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #3 of 25

based on "Google Now", Google should already know you checked in and what you want to buy and drink before you even sit down. I forget what year Google crossed the creepy line, but they are light years beyond it now.

post #4 of 25
It's interesting that they would name the product in the patent. Do they even own the iTravel trademark?

I'm guessing that the scope of the patent, as far as I can tell, far exceeds simple ticketing and is the platform for all secure communication that includes but is not limited to payments.

I'd think iPay would be better overall. Is there a more encompassing term that starts with an i? iSwipe? Usually I'm against the whole i-nomenclature but I'm actually okay with it as a feature, just not as a HW product.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Torcato View Post

based on "Google Now", Google should already know you checked in and what you want to buy and drink before you even sit down. I forget what year Google crossed the creepy line, but they are light years beyond it now.

Passbook does the same thing. Your iDevice location gets updated and when your enter a geofence for a given store in Passbook that "card" will be available on your system without you having to dig around for the app it originates from.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #6 of 25

Yaaaay, something else they can go to court over. Am i the only one that's sick to death of these patent posts? They're not worth the paper they're printed on, any more.

post #7 of 25

I like the idea behind Passbook. I hope it will replace my wallet and that more businesses get behind it. My local Public Library book checkout however does not work with bar codes on the phone's screen, and they demand you have a physical (plastic) card.
 

post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsmOfAm View Post

I like the idea behind Passbook. I hope it will replace my wallet and that more businesses get behind it. My local Public Library book checkout however does not work with bar codes on the phone's screen, and they demand you have a physical (plastic) card.
 

 

Realistically, it will not replace your wallet.

 

You would still need to carry a wallet around with government issued identification as well as a credit/debit card for merchants who do not support NFC transactions, and maybe even cash. San Francisco's best dive bars don't take cards, nor do most of the vendors at the local farmers' markets. There are a bunch of noodle shops, taquerias and other mom-and-pop restaurants around here that are cash-only too.

 

However, it should lighten your wallet considerably and reduce the number of times you need to pull it out.

post #9 of 25

I can't seem to get the barcode reader at the grocery store checkout to read images of barcodes displayed on my iPhone screen.

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post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

However, it should lighten your wallet considerably ...

Owning multiple iOS devices has lightened my wallet already. wink.gif

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post #11 of 25

This patent was filed 4 years ago. I like the idea of the "iPay" suggestion. Just wish that Apple would have thought of it in 2008.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by overstim View Post

Yaaaay, something else they can go to court over.

Why do you care? It's Apple's right. In fact, it's anyone's right.

It's got nothing to do with the speed of your iPad or your access to apps in the App Store.
post #13 of 25

It's all well and good that other companies are coming out with NFC solutions, but the question is... do they have a patent on these technologies? If Apple filed this patent in 2008, they they were working on this well before anyone else presumably which means once again, Google and others who didn't do this properly are going to be hurting. That's just the way the system works.

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"The handheld device may store and transmit travel reservations and traveler identifications using a travel management application," the patent reads. "Various methods may be employed to acquire the reservation and identification information on the handheld device."

 

Wow, I have been storing and transmitting travel information for years through multiple different applications.  I guess my definition of transmitting is broader than NFC.  There was an NFC travel application built into the Nokia 6131 back in 2007, however NFC readers were not prevelent back then (or even now).  I wonder if this patent means that United Airlines can't continue to provide their travel application that currently has boarding pass functionality and probably soon to be integrated with NFC.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

It's all well and good that other companies are coming out with NFC solutions, but the question is... do they have a patent on these technologies? If Apple filed this patent in 2008, they they were working on this well before anyone else presumably which means once again, Google and others who didn't do this properly are going to be hurting. That's just the way the system works.

The NFC Forum was established in 2004 by Nokia, Sony and others. There are a set of standards in place for compliance ISO/IEC 14443. It uses similar technology to RFID. The applications used to interface with the chips are what Apple is working on and presumably working around other existing patents. This is all really trivial and many campaniles will offer variations. This type of patent is not really defensible. 

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post #16 of 25

As soon as I get my hands on an NFC capable phone, I will be supporting any merchant supporting this technology

post #17 of 25

Ok sounds good. I want to try it out. 

post #18 of 25
First time I think AI published this patent award article w/o naming the original patent designers/applicants like they normally do....
post #19 of 25

here we go again.. "Various methods"? Really, another broad claim. it is like saying "all methods of doing this shit is our patent now"

I love the products, hate the patent trolling. One day we may just call Apple the lawsuit company.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by imbrucewayne View Post

here we go again.. "Various methods"? Really, another broad claim. it is like saying "all methods of doing this shit is our patent now"

Nope. It's like saying 'various methods'. This is law here; what it says is what it is.
Quote:
I love the products, hate the patent trolling. One day we may just call Apple the lawsuit company.

You don't know what patent trolling is.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday officially awarded Apple ownership of its "iTravel" concept for e-ticketing with an NFC-equipped iPhone.
 

This patent doesn't appear to be very broad.  Claim 1 requires retrieving a photograph from the mobile device and verifying the user's identity using the photograph.  This patent is nothing to write home about.  I haven't seen a boarding pass app that even uses this technology.  Since Apple has a patent on this, I assume others won't bother implementing it.

post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by imbrucewayne View Post

here we go again.. "Various methods"? Really, another broad claim. it is like saying "all methods of doing this shit is our patent now"

I love the products, hate the patent trolling. One day we may just call Apple the lawsuit company.

I don't know how many times I've posted on the website......THE PATENT IS DEFINED BY THE CLAIMS.  Apple could have published a big smiley face in the disclosure and it wouldn't matter.  The patent only protects what is claimed.  If you take the time to read claim 1, you will see that this patent is anything but "broad".       

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by imbrucewayne View Post

here we go again.. "Various methods"? Really, another broad claim. it is like saying "all methods of doing this shit is our patent now"

I love the products, hate the patent trolling. One day we may just call Apple the lawsuit company.

 

With regards to "patent trolling"... anyone who thinks a patent owner shouldn't enforce his or her patent can go F!*# themselves.  It takes a lot of work to get a patent (like $20,000 worth of work).  Why in the world would a patent owner not ask to be compensated when someone infringes a patent?  Nobody is making a company go out and sell new products that infringe patents.  If a company isn't willing to pay a reasonable royalty to patent holders, it should just keep selling products using old and known technology and let companies that are willing to pay the royalty sell the products with the new technology.

 

Owning the market doesn't confer upon someone the right to sell an invention.  Patent rights are granted to the first person to apply for them at the patent office.  The software industry has patents all screwed up.  They think owning market share should give someone the right to sell.  Why doesn't anyone apply the same standard to copyrights?  The constitution says the same thing about patents as it does copyrights.  Last time I checked no one was calling authors "trolls" when they ask to be compensated for making a movie out of their book. 

 

WTF is the software community thinking calling patent owners "Trolls".  A troll is someone that takes money for passage to a bridge they don't own.  The obvious distinction is that a patent owner DOES OWN the bridge.  Is the city of San Fransisco a troll for imposing a toll to cross the Golden Gate Bridge?

 

How about I rent out your house to someone else and then when you complain I'll start disparagingly calling you a "Troll".

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

It's all well and good that other companies are coming out with NFC solutions, but the question is... do they have a patent on these technologies? If Apple filed this patent in 2008, they they were working on this well before anyone else presumably which means once again, Google and others who didn't do this properly are going to be hurting. That's just the way the system works.

Read the patent claims.  This patent isn't going to stop anyone from selling products.  The claims are simply too narrow to have any effect.

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Meanwhile Google files very similar patents as fast as it can read Apple's filings ...

Then it would normally be 18 months later at the earliest :)

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