Apple on Thursday filed a USPTO patent request for “In-Application Purchasing.” The patent request appears to cover most app store functions currently available on the market, allowing users to purchase content from outside sources while inside another application.
The patents also shows variations on the process, including using an HTML5 web app to bring up purchased content.
While some of the patent appears to show universal uses Apple also points to several top level features that are currently implemented with iOS app purchases.
The original version of the patent was filed in April of 2010 and if upheld it could cause problems for Google Android, Microsoft WP7 and RIM users who all utilize in-app purchasing for free and paid programs.
It’s likely that basic functions of in-app purchasing will not qualify for trademark protection since they will likely be considered “basic technology” however Apple could at least protect some of their proprietary systems.
The move by Apple could also end up complicating a Lodsys lawsuit campaign that is already attempting to collect other “in-app” purchases.
Do you think Apple and their Apple Store system have any right to patent in-app purchasing systems which are used by most major operating systems at this time?