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JPMorgan Files Patent Application On 'Bitcoin Killer'

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the all-about-the-digital-benjamins dept.

Bitcoin 292

Velcroman1 writes "Banking giant JPMorgan Chase has filed a patent application for an electronic commerce system that sounds remarkably like Bitcoin — but never mentions the controversial, Internet-only currency. The patent application was filed in early August but made publicly available only at the end of November; it describes a 'method and system for processing Internet payments using the electronic funds transfer network.' The system would allow people to pay bills anonymously over the Internet through an electronic transfer of funds — just like Bitcoin. It would allow for micropayments without processing fees — just like bitcoin. And it could kill off wire transfers through companies like Western Union — just like Bitcoin. There are 18,126 words in the patent application. 'Bitcoin' is not one of them."

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292 comments

Maybe the Patent Office will notice (5, Funny)

eclectus (209883) | about 4 months ago | (#45654979)

Maybe the patent office will notice a bit of prior art? One can hope, right?

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (-1, Flamebait)

ShaunC (203807) | about 4 months ago | (#45655035)

Yeah! And maybe I'll get a blowjob from Natalie Portman, while eating a nice bowl of hot buttered cheese grits.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (2)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 4 months ago | (#45655199)

yeah maybe you won't.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (4, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about 4 months ago | (#45655485)

But think of the levels of trust! SURELY, you would trust a treasured name in industry, over a rag tag bunch of pirates who choose to remain anonymous, right? Anyone would trust these guys with their money.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (-1, Flamebait)

mopower70 (250015) | about 4 months ago | (#45655397)

Yeah! And maybe I'll get a blowjob from Natalie Portman, while eating a nice bowl of hot buttered cheese grits.

In this scenario of yours, which one of you is eating grits?

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655405)

Well, maybe, but I think the odds will increase if you can remove her clothing and convert her into a state not unlike a statue.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (2, Informative)

tgetzoya (827201) | about 4 months ago | (#45655055)

The US moved to a first to file system recently: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_to_file_and_first_to_invent#The_USA.27s_change_to_first-inventor-to-file_.28FITF.29 [wikipedia.org] So this might get approved regardless.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 4 months ago | (#45655115)

No, first to file doesn't affect the issue of publicly disclosed prior art.

First to file only sets the priority of the application.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (1)

tgetzoya (827201) | about 4 months ago | (#45655217)

Yes, but I'm thinking more of USPTO process in this case. The patent can still be granted unless someone files a petition citing prior art. After that it may be invalidated based on Bitcoin existing, but my point it that it's still possible that the bank can receive this patent.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45655531)

Yes, but I'm thinking more of USPTO process in this case. The patent can still be granted unless someone files a petition citing prior art. After that it may be invalidated based on Bitcoin existing, but my point it that it's still possible that the bank can receive this patent.

Except that it is almost exactly unlike bitcoin. Because it deals in real bank account and real money. Money you can spend anywhere.

The novel part is the fees-free micropayments, which will allow you to use things on the web without being flooded with ads for things
you don't want. Payments as low as factional pennies. Its a frangible currency.

However, SCOTUS is currently reviewing this whole field [scotusblog.com] of "do something via computer" and get a patent, and the whole business practices thing is as likely to be tossed out or more tightly limited in the aftermath.
Coin is coin. And doing it by computer is not that new. Micro-payments are not that new. They were simply too expensive to deal with in the past.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (1, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45655267)

It doesn't matter. If the people behind Bitcoin never bothered to file for a patent, JP Morgan is now going to get it first--meaning Bitcoin will then be in violation of said patent (as unfair as that is).

Something tells me that there is more behind JP Morgan filing this patent than just an innocent attempt to patent their own "idea." It could be a preface to a full-on legal assault on Bitcoin (spurred on by the banks, the U.S. government, or both).

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#45655303)

Possible, but there's another explanation: Many companies just throw as many patents at the office as they can, including ones with no merit to them at all. The worst that can happen is rejection, for which there is no penalty at all, and even the most obviously junk patent has some shot of getting through. It may not stand up in court, but it can still be used to pad a portfolio.

Re: Maybe the Patent Office will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655543)

False. The system is first INVENTOR to file. If prior art exists, JP would have to prove that they invented it before the prior art was disclosed. Otherwise you could troll IEEE journals and conferences and submit patent apps for those papers.

Re: Maybe the Patent Office will notice (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 4 months ago | (#45655569)

Yeah, because no one cough...Rambus...cough would ever think of trolling standards group discussions to patent ideas that come out of them.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#45655125)

Maybe the patent office will notice a bit of prior art? One can hope, right?

I suspect that JP Morgan's patent attorneys aren't idiots, so they've probably done some clever rules-lawyering; but 'bitcoin' is one of those things with such substantial public recognition that it won't be trivial to hide unless the examiner is really sleeping on the job.

With a lot of painfully-obvious tech patents, the prior art (while it definitely exists) is mostly working knowledge among techies, and (because it's considered obvious) often doesn't get a writeup anywhere, although source implementations and the like may be publicly available. That's the sort of thing that makes it easier to sneak by the examiner with a bit of creative rewording so that the old 'just google the important-sounding strings' doesn't work.

Bitcoin, though, didn't Newsweek, or some rag of similar caliber, to a (deeply uninformative, possibly actively misleading) puff piece on it a little while ago? It isn't exactly commonly well-understood; but you'd have to be living under a rock to have not heard at least some journalist's 3rd-hand interpretation of what it is.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45655147)

Didn't they recently change patent law [gigaom.com] so that prior art is basically meaningless now? It's no longer "first to invent," now it's "first to file." So it really doesn't matter if Bitcoin did it first. JP Morgan is first to file (assuming the folks behind Bitcoin never bothered to file for a patent).

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655209)

Another idiot who doesn't understand patent law.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 4 months ago | (#45655297)

Well, pray tell, then explain to me how JP Morgan will be denied this patent based on prior art, if they're the first to file.

Re: Maybe the Patent Office will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655459)

First to file simply means that if two people file for the same patent then the one who filed it first gets it. With the old system these two people had to present evidence on who invented it first regardless of if it was published or invented in secret.

Prior art does not come into question since that is used to _invalidate_ the patent and not something that is used to grant someone else the patent.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (1)

Derec01 (1668942) | about 4 months ago | (#45655589)

That's not how it works. First to file means that, given that two claimants of a patent, the first to file will get it. It does away with a messy process that incentivized holding on to trade secrets and delaying filing a patent as long as possible. First to invent can get incredibly messy and expensive to prove. Before some reform years ago, there was a practice known as submarine patents where applications would be submitted and withdrawn indefinitely, effectively allowing extended patent protection without disclosure.

If prior art is out there, the patent is invalid anyway in both cases. Quoth Wikipedia:

"Prior art (also known as state of the art, which also has other meanings, or background art[1]), in most systems of patent law,[2] constitutes all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent's claims of originality. If an invention has been described in the prior art, a patent on that invention is not valid."

Sure, maybe they'll get the patent. If it's the same as Bitcoin, it would be invalidated. First to invent vs. first to file doesn't really come into play here because no one else is trying to patent it.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45655305)

Didn't they recently change patent law so that prior art is basically meaningless now?

No, they didn't.

First to file only matters if there are two patent applications in progress at the same time. Neither could have copied the other's final approved patent, since it wouldn't have been published yet... but applications may be published, and it's of course possible to release significant details of an invention before the patent is granted, so copying could occur, especially with modern communications.

Patents still must acknowledge the contributions of prior art, and show a significant (in the examiner's opinion) improvement to the state of the art. It still doesn't matter if Bitcoin came first, though, because JP Morgan's patent is not actually related to Bitcoin at all.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655355)

Yep, it's exactly like a domain name land rush now, you moron. (Actually, it's nothing like that nor what you said, you moron.)

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (1, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#45655159)

JP has the money to avoid that little inconvenience. This will go thru, and the will sue bitcoin.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655475)

This will go thru, and the will sue bitcoin.

Really? They're going to sue a protocol?

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 4 months ago | (#45655521)

JP has the money to avoid that little inconvenience. This will go thru, and the will sue bitcoin.

How does one sue a currency?

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45655307)

Maybe the patent office will notice a bit of prior art? One can hope, right?

But its not bitcoin, and you can actually spend the money anywhere you want, because in the end it is
delivering real money to real accounts from other real accounts.

Negotiating a bitcoin sale or purchase is still like a scavenger hunt. Even if a willing buyer finds a willing seller the product is usually not exactly what they were looking for, close by, or convenient. There are maybe 5 restaurants in the world that will take bitcoin. And who wants to eat in a crowd of nerds.

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655489)

Maybe the patent office will notice a bit of prior art? One can hope, right?

Yeah, that's a good point! The fact that the government should get in on this to protect Bitcoin from big banking is SURE to be great news to the libertarians who...

...wait...

Re:Maybe the Patent Office will notice (2)

Albanach (527650) | about 4 months ago | (#45655519)

Maybe the patent office will notice a bit of prior art? One can hope, right?

Or we could hope that you can't patent ideas, only implementations, and the summary is big on telling us why the ideas are similar, but scant on whether they share an implementation.

If someone invents a steam engine, it shouldn't mean someone else can't create a different steam engine that does the same thing in a different way. Similarly, just because bitcoin allows micro payments and electronic funds transfers doesn't mean no-one else can invent something that also achieves this.

I'm all for the patent office identifying prior art, but the summary is wanting when it comes to actually showing any.

Whale killer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45654983)

When can I file a patent for a JPMorgan Whale killer?

Being able to do the same things is irrelevant (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655009)

Just because this proposed currency is capable of doing many of the things that Bitcoin does, doesn't mean it copies Bitcoin.

Point out the technical components that copy Bitcoin, not the capabilities.

Re:Being able to do the same things is irrelevant (2)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | about 4 months ago | (#45655257)

I'm trying to figure out when Fox News became a reliable news source. I was under the impression you only went to Fox News when you wanted to hear/see Right Wingers babbling like idiots, just the same for MSNBC for the Left.

Re:Being able to do the same things is irrelevant (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 months ago | (#45655361)

The problem is when what it does is the thing patented, and that patent is used to forbid/request royalties/etc for something with prior art or of common sense. You know, like doing rectangular phones.

Re:Being able to do the same things is irrelevant (5, Informative)

Agent ME (1411269) | about 4 months ago | (#45655401)

Yeah, I'm skimming the patent, and I don't see how this is like Bitcoin. It's not a decentralized currency. It's just a different interface for using existing bank accounts they control. It's only anonymous to the users. The whole system runs on trusted servers they control and can see what's happening on.

The stuff that made Bitcoin revolutionary isn't that it works over the internet, or has receive-only addresses. The revolutionary part was that it was decentralized. It didn't rely on any trusted or privileged groups or servers. All nodes that people run are equal. There is no central minting group who can secretly mint more or change the minting rules. The currency itself is limited. This proposal does not involve any of that.

Is there a snowball's chance this would work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655015)

Could they sue companies which accept bitcoin if they get the patent for patent infringement?

Re:Is there a snowball's chance this would work? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 months ago | (#45655185)

Well, they would be using their patented technology, so yes they can ( and will )

Re:Is there a snowball's chance this would work? (1)

game kid (805301) | about 4 months ago | (#45655229)

Big bankers don't get jail time or substantial fines for perjury or other criminal acts here, so yes. There's a snowball's chance, and enough additional snowballs where that came from that Hell will be inhabitable.

Grab your bitcoin wallet, your lawyer, and your ass. When an already powerful bank goes patent troll you may well need them all and in that order.

Re:Is there a snowball's chance this would work? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45655537)

No, they can't.

The patent claims describe a very specific architecture that is completely unrelated to the distributed system that Bitcoin uses. By design, the bank running the system approves transactions unilaterally through its own system.

Has nothing to do with bitcoin. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655017)

The patent is a near-exact description of how paypal works.

Non-Story (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655019)

Bitcoin did not invent electronic money transfers. This is sort of like saying the trackball violates the patent on the mouse.

Like bitcoin? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655027)

BitCoin is not anonymous, and it does have fees. How is it just like BitCoin?

For the billionth time (3, Informative)

Ultra64 (318705) | about 4 months ago | (#45655029)

>The system would allow people to pay bills anonymously over the Internet through an electronic transfer of funds â" just like Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is not anonymous. There is a very clear, public trail linking your wallet to your purchases.

Re:For the billionth time (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 months ago | (#45655169)

>The system would allow people to pay bills anonymously over the Internet through an electronic transfer of funds â" just like Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is not anonymous. There is a very clear, public trail linking your wallet to your purchases.

Yes; but (unlike, say, credit cards) anybody can magic a wallet into existence with a dash of math, at any time, so connections between people and wallets are established only by inferences made possible by various forms of sloppiness in handling. Odds are that many wallets are robustly identified with users; but only on the basis of techniques unrelated to bitcoin proper.

prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655039)

at least there is no prior art

BitCoin not first (2)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 4 months ago | (#45655045)

BitCoin is not the first electronic payment system. No reason for patent to metion BitCoin unless it JPMorgan is going to have people mining for Morgon bucks.

Re:BitCoin not first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655309)

The funny part is JPMorgan probably thinks "Hey, everyone loves BitCoin, so we can probably make a lot of money from copying it!" but one of the reasons people love BitCoin is that it's not run by a large financial institution whose purpose is to screw over its customers.

Re:BitCoin not first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655585)

BitCoin is not the first electronic payment system.

Yes, but the libertarians tend to get really, really pissy when you start drawing comparisons between Bitcoin and Beenz.

Something is wrong with the entire system (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 4 months ago | (#45655065)

Something is wrong with the entire system when a financial company is awarded a patent.

Re:Something is wrong with the entire system (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 4 months ago | (#45655279)

I'm sorry, the fixed rate loan has been patented by a competitor, so we can only offer you APRs that go up by 30% a day.

Re:Something is wrong with the entire system (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#45655325)

The US allows patents not just on software, but on business methods too. JPMorgan probably has a great many business patents.

Re:Something is wrong with the entire system (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45655339)

Why? Why does one's industry determine whether they can contribute an innovation to the world?

The patent is for a mechanism to make payments from an account by both sides exchanging possibly-anonymized information. What other industry would you expect this idea to come from? Agriculture?

Sounds Like Paypal's eCheck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655067)

Looks like they trying to patent a new use of electronic transfers from banks. Like a debit card without the card and some form of exposed public address to receive payments. Its similar to Bitcoin in terms of structure, only this is cash.

Not really worth a patent though.

Re:Sounds Like Paypal's eCheck (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 4 months ago | (#45655399)

Exposed public address...to receive payments. An account number? I may be American, but isn't that the way Europe handles cash transfers from one bank to another?

oh no! bitcoin is not mentioned boo hoo hooo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655073)

but my buttcoins arent mentioned here.

At least JP Morgan is insured so if shit goes south they'll just get bailed out and screw their customers. See, don't worry about this because nothing has changed.

Trolling (5, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45655079)

Troll summary for a troll article.

The patent has nothing to do with Bitcoin. It's a payment processing system that's set up so it can use anonymized IDs rather than actual account numbers.

Re:Trolling (1)

Apothem (1921856) | about 4 months ago | (#45655129)

Sounds like they're trying to patent a way to make it easier to launder their money.

Re:Trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655219)

They want to get their grubby mitts on some of that money being laundered out of china.

Re:Trolling (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45655415)

Hardly. The system itself would still be able to track where money came from well enough for law enforcement. It'd just be a bit safer to give out direct payment information online.

Re:Trolling (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | about 4 months ago | (#45655157)

"so it can use anonymized IDs"

kind of like, say, bitcoin addresses:

"A Bitcoin address, or simply address, is an identifier of 27-34 alphanumeric characters, beginning with the number 1 or 3, that represents a possible destination for a Bitcoin payment. Addresses can be generated at no cost by any user of Bitcoin. For example, using Bitcoin-Qt, one can click "New Address" and be assigned an address. It is also possible to get a Bitcoin address using an account at an exchange or online wallet service."

Re:Trolling (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 months ago | (#45655461)

Yes, kind of like Bitcoin addresses, but without the rest of the Bitcoin architecture. Instead, the concept is adapted to fit a more traditional banking system, which is usually rather biased against working with temporary or disposable anything.

Anecdotally, while working in finance I helped set up a corporation for the sole purpose of selling a single house. The account had to stick around in our systems for 90 days, to accommodate a nonzero balance for about an hour.

Neither anonymous nor decentralized. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655085)

For card purchased by someone who did not previously have a IPA account, in order to subsequently use EFT credit pushes as described above, the card owner will be required to establish an IPA account with the sponsor of the card. For example, if the sponsor was a bank, the user signs onto bank's website, the new card owner keys in the card number and PIN to synchronize the VPL with a newly created IPA account for the user.

Just like BitCoin? (4, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | about 4 months ago | (#45655099)

The system would allow people to pay bills anonymously over the Internet through an electronic transfer of funds â" just like Bitcoin.

Bitcoin isn't anonymous. [bitcoin.org]

It would allow for micropayments without processing fees â" just like bit coin.

Processing fees are common with Bitcoin. [bitcoin.org]

And it could kill off wire transfers through companies like Western Union â" just like Bitcoin.

Wire transfers are largely an oddity of the USA. Most of the rest of the world doesn't use wire transfers anyway.

Re:Just like BitCoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655349)

Wire transfers are largely an oddity of the USA. Most of the rest of the world doesn't use wire transfers anyway.

Really? News to me. I pay my rent that way (in France). Other bills as well. I'm pretty sure my friends in Germany do the same. I sent money to a friend in Russia (with a European bank account) that way that I owed a few bucks to because it was the easiest way.

If you mean to a cash office like Western Union, okay, this is unheard of, sure... but in my time in the US, I didn't know anyone that used it, either.

Re:Just like BitCoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655371)

Wire transfers are extremely common the world over. The oddity is that in the U.S. it's easier for individuals to do, and that's because most other countries police wire transfers more heavily.

In fact, wire transfers are free for everybody but the small guy. Banks have almost zero transaction costs, because they're in the business of being counter-parties. It's like 90% of what they do.

Western Union is only popular when making small transfers, and when one of the parties doesn't have an account at a banking institution, or where they're restricted as to transfer. This is a common situation for the poor, or people in other counties which restrict wire transfers.

Re:Just like BitCoin? (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 4 months ago | (#45655535)

Wire transfers are extremely common the world over. The oddity is that in the U.S. it's easier for individuals to do, and that's because most other countries police wire transfers more heavily.

I expect GCHQ know that my electricity costs £33/month, but the process is extremely widespread, free (for me), and very easy to set up, either for paying bills (of fixed or varying amounts), or sending money to individuals.

There's apparently a default limit of £10k/day, but that's the bank (who will change it if asked), not the law. Regulations are only for international or "suspicious" transfers, and that applies to Western Union as much (probably more...) than Barclay's.

Re:Just like BitCoin? (1)

fox171171 (1425329) | about 4 months ago | (#45655391)

Wire transfers are largely an oddity of the USA. Most of the rest of the world doesn't use wire transfers anyway.

Don't forget about Nigerian Princes...

Re:Just like BitCoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655433)

You have that backwards. The rest of the world makes heavy use of them while here in America thy are more rare.

Re:Just like BitCoin? (1)

tonymercmobily (658708) | about 4 months ago | (#45655557)

> Wire transfers are largely an oddity of the USA. Most of the rest of the world doesn't use wire transfers anyway

Excuse me? Wire transfer in Australia are called EFT. Basically, if you want to give money to _anybody_ in Australia, all you need is their BSB (6 digits, it's the bank's ID) and account number, and there you are, money gets there 24 hours later (48 hours later if you make the transfer after 5:00PM in Sydney, which is the cut-off time).

It's WIDELY used by businesses, and even people. I "borrowed" $50 from a friend yesterday, and simply transferred $50 via Internet Banking using my phone.

I was amazed to discover that the US was largely based on *cheques*.

This has nothing to do with Bitcoin (1)

tftp (111690) | about 4 months ago | (#45655103)

The patent does mention "digital cash," and BTC is that. However the patent is not about creating new coins from thin air. The patent is simply about software that allows you to pay using your existing accounts with banks (they mention c/c.) The payment, however, is anonymous, and very cheap. That's all.

Re:This has nothing to do with Bitcoin (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 4 months ago | (#45655183)

Wonder if it might overlap with some of Chaum's anonymous currency patents. His venture didn't last long, but the underlying concepts of the currency were sound and it provided true anonymous transfer of money without relying on blockchains or "majority rules".

Not quite there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655111)

Sometimes it may seem that "Just like X but with a different name" is a valid patent application but that's still a thing of the future.

Hah now they'll sue (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | about 4 months ago | (#45655113)

"Now we sue Bitcoin and shut them down. (whispers) They don't have lawyers? Excellent! (whispers) What do you mean they don't exist as an entity?(whispers) Distributed what?! (whispers) Damn those techies. They can't do that. Don't they understand real business?"

Bitcoin is crap (1)

UneducatedSixpack (2829861) | about 4 months ago | (#45655127)

I am sorry to tell you but bitcoin is total crap as a currency. With wild fluctuations like we saw recently there is no way it can be used as currency.

Re:Bitcoin is crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655161)

It only goes up, and with China adding real value to it, that isn't going to stop anytime soon.

Re:Bitcoin is crap (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 4 months ago | (#45655413)

True. Can't use it as a value store, but it seems to have found a niche for use in transfers. Party A buys bitcoin for dollars, transfers coin to party B, party B buys dollars with bitcoins.

Read the claims before making them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655133)

From the patent claims: "enable an electronic payment between a payer and a payee without provision of an account number or name from the payer"

Bitcoin is not capable of this. Nice try, internet.

Nits To Pick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655135)

1. Bitcoin is not anonymous. It is pseudo anonymous at best.

2. Bitcoin incurs processing fees.

3. The patent's description could be applied equally well to other eCurrencies that predate Bitcoin.

4. Just because you draw incorrect conclusions about teh patent and Bitcoin does not mean that JP Morgan isn't trying to "steal" Bitcoin et al.

This isn't bitcoin, or a cryptocurrency (4, Informative)

earlzdotnet (2788729) | about 4 months ago | (#45655167)

Yea, the reason they don't mention bitcoin is because this is nothing like bitcoin. This isn't a cryptocurrency. This assumes that behind the scenes a bank is tied to your account to push/pull funds from. This incorporates some of the things bitcoin is good at, but it does it all in a completely different manner. If you'd take a look at the patent application, you'd know this is in no way close to bitcoin

Re:This isn't bitcoin, or a cryptocurrency (1)

GerryGilmore (663905) | about 4 months ago | (#45655301)

I agree - this sounds much more like, say, mPesa which allows cash transfers using mobile phones. Wildly popular and growing like mad in Africa.

In 2013, (2)

deego (587575) | about 4 months ago | (#45655177)

In 2013, the brilliant scientists and upstanding MBAs and executives at JP Morgan Chase invented an awesome cryptocurrency and transfer mechanism, and duly filed a patent on it.

FOSS advocates copied the system near-verbatim, went back 4 years in time, and launched it is one open sourced "bitcoin." The nerve!

Re:In 2013, (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 4 months ago | (#45655427)

Except they didn't because the two systems are completely different. Someone read the title of a patent without reading any content and jumped to conclusions. Welcome to the Internet.

Significant advancement in art (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655203)

"One essential feature of the present invention, completely contrary to the prior art, is that payments made from the IPA account are transmitted to the payee as a credit over the secure EFT network. As discussed above, only debit related transactions are currently initiated on the EFT system. The EFT credit message of the present invention thus represent a significant advancement in art which has no peers with respect to electronic commerce. "

In effect, they have created "credit" push messages in the EFT network. It sounds a lot like a small extension of the square "email payment" system combined with some extension of the EFT network (reversal?) to keep transactions "anonymous".

NOTHING like Bitcoin (5, Insightful)

harvestsun (2948641) | about 4 months ago | (#45655221)

The point of Bitcoin is that it's decentralized. There's no single entity that keeps track of what money is where. Every person who uses Bitcoin has a record of every transaction (in the form of the blockchain), and is involved in the process of verifying transactions (in the form of bitcoin mining). Although the security is still being debated, in theory, you would need to control half the computing power of the Bitcoin network in order to break the security.

In contrast, this patent seems to be talking about a system that uses your same old credit card account. Which is not surprising; how would a BANK use a DECENTRALIZED currency system with its customers?

So basically, this is a meaningless article written by some idiot at Fox News who wanted to make a headline that would stand out. Which I suppose worked, since it made it past the impeccable Slashdot editing process.

Anyone check the IDS? Duty to Disclose (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | about 4 months ago | (#45655337)

Anyone check the IDS?

Applicant has a duty to disclose (See MPEP 2001) any and all prior art that they are aware of at the time of filing.

Per MPEP 2001.01

(c) Individuals associated with the filing or prosecution of a patent application within the meaning of this section are:
(1) Each inventor named in the application;
(2) Each attorney or agent who prepares or prosecutes the application; and
(3) Every other person who is substantively involved in the preparation or prosecution of the application and who is associated with the inventor, with the assignee or with anyone to whom there is an obligation to assign the application.
*****

Individuals having a duty of disclosure are limited to those who are “substantively involved in the preparation or prosecution of the application.” This is intended to make clear that the duty does not extend to typists, clerks, and similar personnel who assist with an application.

Attorneys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655341)

Something that sensibility will not solve but the attorneys and who is paying them will settle.

The only way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655351)

it could possible destroy bitcoin is if its easier to make them...

This predates Bitcoin (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 4 months ago | (#45655389)

The original application on which this is based is dated May 3, 1999. So this predates Bitcoin. Only prior art earlier than the priority date is relevant.

The life of the patent counts from the priority date, so this patent, if issued, will run out in 2019. The USPTO doesn't consider this patent to contain patentable subject matter; they've issued a 101 Non Final Rejection. (You have to look up the patent application in USPTO Public PAIR [uspto.gov] to see this. Public PAIR has the status info for all patents as they go through examination, and images of all the actual documents. All the letters and forms back and forth between the applicant and the USPTO are in there. PAIR is kind of slow, and there's a CAPTCHA to prevent it from being scraped in bulk, so the data in PAIR isn't indexed by search engines.)

Behold! The bitcoin killer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655437)

Isn't part of the _attraction_ of bitcoin the fact that no banks or governments or governments that do the bidding of banks are connected to it?

Bitcoin killer... good luck with that.

Really? (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 4 months ago | (#45655449)

There are 18,126 words in the patent application. 'Bitcoin' is not one of them."

So /. could take a lesson from JPMorgan's patent lawyers, then, and STFU about bitcoin already.

Crypto currencies in 1999? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655505)

From the linked application:

"[0001] This application is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 09/497,307 filed Feb. 3, 2000 and is based on and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Applications Nos. 60/132,305, filed May 3, 1999; 60/150,725, filed Aug. 25, 1999; 60/161,300, filed Oct. 26, 1999; 60/163,828, filed Nov. 5, 1999; and 60/173,044, filed Dec. 23, 1999, the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference. "

So the disclosure and priority date is from 1999 or 2000. So I think it is quite logical that the Bitcoin is not mentioned.

Bitcoin! Bitcoin! Bitcoin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45655545)

I'm sure they've already mined their exclusive algorithm for several years, so they have all the JPMorgan-coins.
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