Today, PAID, Inc. was awarded a new patent – U.S. Patent No. 7,930,237 – for a new method of calculating shipping costs across multiple carries, such as the United States Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, and DHL. The shipping method specifically pertains to shipping options in online auctions and is valid for 20 years.
PAID, Inc. is a brand management and marketing service catering to music, entertainment and sports organizations. It also offers the AuctionInc online shipping calculation and shopping cart software platform. PAID provides services such as video and film production, site design, ticket sales, and merchandising.
The newly awarded patent compliments a second patent, awarded to PAID in 2008, that detailed a shipping calculating system. The main distinguishing feature between the new patent and the previous patent is that PAID claims it details a method, rather than a system, for calculating shipping rates. The new patent covers the steps to perform the calculation rather than keeping it bound to a specific structure. PAID maintains that this broadens that coverage of the new patent beyond the initial patent.
Currently, PAID’s AuctionInc software is licensed by hundreds of companies, and includes the ShopCart and ShipCalc tools, among others. AuctionInc provides features such as drop-shipping support, a packaging algorithm that can handle multiple items and quantities, on demand carrier settings and promotional shipping discounts. A February 2011 report by Forrester Research stated US e-retail sales were projected to grow 10% per year, increasing from $197 billion in 2011 to $279 billion by 2015. By 2015, Internet sales are expected to account for 11% of all retail sales (15% in groceries are excluded).
“This new patent complements and strengthens our first patent and we are very pleased with the claims that were granted by the USPTO,” said Greg Rotman, PAID, Inc. CEO. “We now plan to fully pursue the monetization of our patent assets through licensing and/or sale of the patent assets. With the intellectual property protection afforded with the issuance of these patents, we believe these two patents are very valuable to companies directly involved in online auctions and e-commerce, as well as companies who specialize in IP licensing. We have worked, and continue to work, closely with our patent legal counsel, Thomas E. Anderson of Hunton & Williams, LLP, and the U.S. Patent Office to achieve what we believe to be excellent patent coverage on our intellectual property relating to shipping calculation technologies.”
“Method patents are typically more valuable than system patents because method patents are not necessarily limited to any particular underlying structure that may be required to perform the steps of the claimed method. Thus, the method claims in our new patent allow for changes in hardware that may not be currently contemplated and may develop as technology evolves,” noted Rotman. “The beauty of this method patent is that it will have value years from now even when the systems we are currently using may become obsolete. This aspect will be very important to those who may be interested in licensing or purchasing our IP assets.”