RealTime IT News

Priceline.com Wins Air Travel Sales Patent

Priceline.com Friday announced it has been awarded a patent protecting its airline travel services unit, which allows the airlines to select a customer's flight and route after the customer purchases the ticket.

It is the second patent issued to priceline.com. The first covers priceline.com's demand collection system enabling customers to give a price for products and services across travel, automotive and personal finance categories, without competitive bidding. Priceline delivers the requests to sellers, processing the sale without holding or handling inventory.

Intellectual property lab Walker Digital invented both methods. The patents were assigned to priceline.com as part of a joint licensing arrangement.

The patents will allow the company to focus on building business with less concern over competitive copying issues common in e-commerce ventures, and will potentially bring new revenue through licensing, said Rick Braddock, priceline.com's chairman and chief executive officer.

"This important new recognition of patent protection creates the incentive for exciting and significant innovation in U.S. businesses, and will play a central role in enabling a new generation of businesses to emerge and flourish, both on the Internet and off," said Jay Walker, chairman of Walker Digital and founder and vice chairman of priceline.com.