Google loses bid to patent mobile payment system
Intellectual Property July 5, 2018 11:19 pm By Miklos Bolza | Sydney

Google has lost a bid for a patent for a mobile payment system, with an examiner for IP Australia calling the proposed patent a business rather than technical innovation.

The patent, titled ‘Systems, Methods, and Computer Program Products for Providing a Contactless Protocol,’ was filed by Google in May 2016, and describes a method for managing payment data and other information such as loyalty cards and offers between mobile devices and payment terminals.

After three examination reports, the patent application was dismissed by IP Australia senior patent examiner, Xavier Gisz, on Wednesday on the grounds that “the substance of the invention as claimed is a scheme and thus not a manner of manufacture”.

Gisz noted that, even if Google was right that the method solved the technical challenge of transferring payment data between mobile devices and point-of-sale systems, the proposed patent did not solve the problem through improvements in computer technology.

“The claimed invention simply appears to present a logistical methodology for sharing particular information between the relevant devices. I see no technical problem within a computer device, in the form of a mobile device or payment terminal that has been overcome. In other words, generic technology is used to implement the information sharing protocol,” the examiner said.

Describing the alleged invention as “nothing more than a mere communication scheme that has been ‘merely computer implemented’,” Gisz characterised it as a business rather than a technical innovation.

While the patentable subject matter within the patent itself was not immediately apparent to Gisz, he allowed Google three months to amend its claims.

Google was represented by Pizzeys Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys.

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Cat Fredenburgh

Cat Fredenburgh has been covering legal news for 12 years. She was previously Editor-in-Chief at US legal news publication Law360. She is the Co-Founder of Lawyerly.