For sale: e-biz patent applications

A New Zealand patent application, which could extract royalties from local companies doing e-business overseas, is up for sale.

A New Zealand patent application, which could extract royalties from local companies doing e-business overseas, is up for sale.

The application is one of 32 being sought in various countries by a US company, DE Technologies, which says it will sell them to the highest bidder because of financial and “political” pressure.

The US Patent and Trademark Office indicated to company head Ed Pool last May that it would issue a broad patent on his Borderless Order Entry System (BOES), covering “a process for carrying out an international transaction … using computer-to-computer communication”. The local patent application was lodged in 1997.

“Tremendous political pressures have been exerted on our application,” says Pool, “not for the merits of the case, but rather to further the control of major industrial influences as well as to continue to stall a globally integrated standard necessary to move e-commerce forward. Additionally, the expense of prosecution is outrageous.”

The legal and media pressure on the company has clearly taken its toll. “I am tired at a personal level and collectively my team is pretty frustrated with the overall situation and the severity of the attacks upon us.”

Pool also calls DE Technologies’ US patent application a “system” patent and says it was labelled a business method patent to fuel controversy.

Pool acknowledges that “some serious horsepower” will be necessary to implement the system and any patents on a global scale.

BOES aims to let small to medium-sized enterprises digitise export transactions for a membership charge and 0.3% transaction fee. BOES creates electronic export documents and payments using any language or currency.

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