Latest in Android market

Image credit:

Microsoft patents apps that let you buy things, Ballmer to go on licensing spree?

Michael Gorman, @Numeson
April 22, 2011
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Many of us use apps to buy stuff these days, whether its grabbing the latest e-book from Amazon, or a Groupon for a day of pampering at the local spa. Seems obvious now, but it wasn't (at least according to the USPTO) in 2004, when Microsoft filed a patent application for the idea -- and that application was recently granted. The patent claims a way to make purchases through an network-connected portal with a "streamlined interface" (to "streamline" the process of parting you from your money, no doubt). The portal maintains a list of selling sites and exchanges info as needed to let buyers pick up what the seller's putting down. Now, we aren't intimately familiar with the ways shopping apps work, but the patent language appears broad enough to cover apps that make internet purchases without using a full-on web browser -- though only a federal court can say for sure. The only other question is, what are Ballmer and his boys going to do with these newly granted IP powers?

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

T-Mobile’s TVision is a cable-cutting package for its mobile customers

T-Mobile’s TVision is a cable-cutting package for its mobile customers

View
'Cyberpunk 2077' is delayed again, this time to December 10th

'Cyberpunk 2077' is delayed again, this time to December 10th

View
Researchers 3D-printed a cell-sized tugboat

Researchers 3D-printed a cell-sized tugboat

View
This is Harley-Davidson's first electric bicycle

This is Harley-Davidson's first electric bicycle

View
PlayStation 5 first look: At home with Sony’s new console

PlayStation 5 first look: At home with Sony’s new console

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr