Apple-Pay And Beyond

Apple-Pay And Beyond

A few days ago a rather interesting information has landed on my desk.

We all acknowledge the importance of the smart phones and its features- from texting to blogging and vlogging to app for this and that and mobile payments.

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Recently frazes like seamless or frictionless started to appear in the research papers and some industry blogs and the buzz is that things are not just about payments anymore but rather a full-on mobile commerce modus: scan/checkout/pay all on your phone.  A personal express self check-out done via mobile phone in a flash -from anywhere in the store for individuals in a hurry. Cool right? But here is a kicker: according to information we have the concept is an old news . How old you ask? Well according to the patents filed by Mr Paul Poniatowski it’s over a decade old. The very first concept of mobile transactions and payments was disclosed back in April 2004, PCT/CA2004/000513 , and the much refined full-on mobile commerce modus disclosed back in 2009.

The invention is a big thing. Total annual retail/service spendings in US for 2017 were 5.7 trillion USD,(434.36 billion for Jan 2018 alone) as per US Census Bureau.

The system is to be further enhanced by a vital antitheft security system (unpublished).The said security system is a major thing in itself since according to the 2017 National Retail Security Survey shoplifting costs American retailers approximately $16B annually. Big business.

But then the dark clouds started to gather . Not everybody was thrilled or was interested to see an outsider, an average Joe to get involved in dancing with a trillion of dollars price.

As a result the US patent office and US Fed Court decides to unabashedly deprive Mr Poniatowski of his invention. Brazenly and contemptuously in spite the fact of the presented sound arguments that device employed as a relay does not and can not initiate anything – especially if a commercial transaction was to be initiated and carried out. (USPTO Board of Appeals 2014-007989, Federal Circuit 2017-1346).

Things get even more interesting because according to Mr. Poniatowski the lower court actually find itself in violation of US Constitution, chiefly the Fifth Amendment (Citizens not be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment without due process. Citizens may not be tried on the same set of facts twice) wherein the lower court cites certain prior art once as true (grants one of the claims in the patent) and next proclaims it as false in overall ruling in combination with other prior art.

Shockingly the Writ of Certiorari to the US Supreme Court 17-545 was denied on 27 Oct 2017, despite the emphasis that courts are in conflict and that the Constitutional rights are violated.

Now all that aside – not everyone is versed in IP or Constitutional law , and we took this story as is – but what is really intriguing and truly bizarre is that the Patent Office has actually issued a US 870578 patent in 2012 for Mr Poniatowski’s nearly identical invention -with slight amendment pertaining to claims- wherein the patent office cites the same earlier mentioned prior art and nevertheless grants the patent !

Can any one explain that?

Further, in light of Poniatowski’s applications filed in a continuity order between in 2004-9 the Apple-pay/others are not at all that original or inventive since the Apple pay is launched in Oct. 2014 (Wiki)

This idea is becoming big thing as Amazon, Walmart, Microsoft, Kroger and other organizations have all been actively experimenting with the very or similar ideas.

It is a big business – we get it .

But supposedly we live in a just and fair society backed by laws and Constitution. Motivated by coined slogans like – dream big , you can be all you wanna be, sky is the limit.

But is that a reality? do those things mean anything ? is it worth it ?

The alarm bells are going off . Loud. REALLY LOUD.

What I wrote 15 year ago in my PCT publication :

The system described above is flexible enough for many different types of advertising and promotions. As an example, advertisers could include in their advertising a specific telephone code which users may enter while listening to an audio feed. Entering the code would then automatically connect the end user to the advertiser’s telephone call-in center so the end user can then take advantage of the offer (e.g. a vacation trip for a low promotional price). Alternatively, end users may establish an account, with their credit cards on file, with the operators of the system. These end users may then do their shopping over the telephone based on what is being advertised on the display screens. End user choices, such as the color, size, or type of merchandise, could be entered by the end user via the telephone keypad using specific telephone codes shown in the video feeds. To verify an end user’s identity, PIN (personal identification numbers) could be associated with each end user account. Such PIN numbers would be required to validate/finalize the transaction before the end user’s credit card is charged and before the item is shipped to the end user’s on-file address or before the end user can pick up the item. As an alternative, an end user’s bank account can be tied in with the end user’s system account and the purchase price of the end-user’s purchase can be automatically debited to from his/her bank account. The use of PIN numbers or some similar scheme for validation for this configuration would, of course, be required for security. End users can also be provided, by of way of their mobile telephone’s screen, with different payment options. A dedicated PAY button on the mobile handset can be provided so that activation of this button brings up the end user’s payment option.

The system also offers a myriad of advantages to society and the public in general. It may be used as part of a public broadcasting system to inform the populace of alerts or emergencies. It can also increase literacy as those without mobile phones will need to read the closed captioning and/or the text on-screen to determine what is being presented. It will also produce greater usage of public transportation vehicles as passengers are not only transported from one place to another but are also entertained. Such an increase in ridership may also augur an decrease in the number of vehicles on the road, thereby leading to a more environment-friendly society. The increased advertising may also lead to greater consumer spending, thereby fueling economic growth for the areas where the system is deployed.

Article by Paul Poniatowski

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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