Cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies based on blockchain technology that uses a network of computers to keep a public ledger of past transactions. The most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, which some believe could replace bonds and serve as a reserve currency in the future. The value of Bitcoin has skyrocketed over recent years, as major companies are buying into it. In February 2021, Tesla Inc. bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and announced plans to start accepting the currency as payment for its electric vehicles. Since Bitcoin has the potential to be used directly in commercial transactions, fintech companies are developing and patenting related technologies.
U.S. Patent No. 9378491, entitled Payment Transfer by Sending E-mail. This discloses a computer-implemented method which enables the seamless initiation of a payment transfer through e-mail from one mobile device to another without creating an account or logging into a service. The innovative system is designed for both simplicity of use as well as security and authentication in online financial transactions. A final rejection issued by a patent examiner on the ‘491 patent dated December 8th, 2014, doesn’t specifically mention Alice v. CLS, but the case’s effect on the examiner’s decision seemed evident. In arguments made in response to the final rejection, Square’s prosecution team on the ‘491 patent noted that it had amended the claims to make the patentable features of those claims more explicit.
From tech developers trying to take a stand against tech-savvy terrorists to a pair of highly anticipated initial public offerings of stock for tech start-ups, there’s been plenty of news to cover in recent days. We also take a little time to explore research at an American university which has led to the world’s first-ever “freeze ray” laser technology.