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US5794207: Method and apparatus for a cryptographically assisted commercial network system designed to facilitate buyer-driven conditional purchase offers

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Jay S. Walker · Bruce Schneier · James A. Jorasch ·
Assignee(s) Walker Asset Management Limited Partnership ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Morgan & Finnegan LLP ·
Primary Examiner Thomas H. Tarcza ·
Assistant Examiner Pinchus M. Laufer ·
Application Number US8707660
Filing date 09/04/1996
Issue date 08/11/1998
Predicted expiration date 09/04/2016
U.S. Classifications 705/23  · 705/26  ·
International Classifications G06F 1520  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 395226;227;237;238;239;244 ·
44 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

The present invention is a method and apparatus for effectuating bilateral buyer-driven commerce. The present invention allows prospective buyers of goods and services to communicate a binding purchase offer globally to potential sellers, for sellers conveniently to search for relevant buyer purchase offers, and for sellers potentially to bind a buyer to a contract based on the buyer's purchase offer. In a preferred embodiment, the apparatus of the present invention includes a controller which receives binding purchase offers from prospective buyers. The controller makes purchase offers available globally to potential sellers. Potential sellers then have the option to accept a purchase offer and thus bind the corresponding buyer to a contract. The method and apparatus of the present invention have applications on the Internet as well as conventional communications systems such as voice telephony.

Independent Claims | See all claims (44)

  1. 1. A method for using a computer to facilitate a transaction between a buyer and at least one of sellers, comprising:inputting into the computer a conditional purchase offer which includes an offer price;inputting into the computer a payment identifier specifying a credit card account, the payment identifier being associated with the conditional purchase offer;outputting the conditional purchase offer to the plurality of sellers after receiving the payment identifier;inputting into the computer an acceptance from a seller, the acceptance being responsive to the conditional purchase offer; andproviding a payment to the seller by using the payment identifier.
  2. 12. An apparatus for facilitating a transaction between a buyer and at least one of a plurality of sellers, comprising:a storage device; anda processor connected to the storage device,the storage device storinga program for controlling the processor; andthe processor operative with the program to receive a conditional purchase offer which includes an offer price;receive a payment identifier specifying a credit card account, the payment identifier being associated with the conditional purchase offer;make the conditional purchase offer available to the plurality of sellers after receiving the payment identifier;receive an acceptance from a seller, the acceptance being responsive to the conditional purchase offer; andprovide payment to the seller by using the payment identifier.
  3. 23. A method for using a computer to facilitate a transaction between a buyer and at least one of a plurality of sellers, comprising:inputting into the computer a conditional purchase offer which includes an offer price;inputting into the computer a payment identifier specifying a financial account, the payment identifier being associated with the conditional purchase offer;outputting to the buyer a request for authorization to use the payment identifier to provide a payment it an acceptance is received;inputting into the computer authorization from the buyer in response to the request;outputting the conditional purchase offer to the plurality of sellers after receiving the payment identifier;inputting into the computer an acceptance from a seller, the acceptance being responsive to the conditional purchase offer; andproviding the payment to the seller by using the payment identifier.
  4. 34. An apparatus for facilitating a transaction between a buyer and at least one of a plurality of sellers, comprising:a storage device; anda processor connected to the storage device,the storage device storinga program for controlling the processor; andthe processor operative with the program toreceive a conditional purchase offer which includes an offer price;receive a payment identifier specifying a financial account, the payment identifier being associated with the conditional purchase offer;output to the buyer a request for an authorization to use the payment identifier to provide a payment if an acceptance is received;receive the authorization from the buyer in response to the request;transmit the conditional purchase otter to the plurality of sellers after receiving the payment identifier;receive an acceptance from a seller, the acceptance being responsive to the transmitted conditional purchase offer; andprovide the payment to the seller by using the payment identifier.

References Cited

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