On Tuesday, Google was slapped with a patent infringement lawsuit relating to its Google Wallet smartphone application.
According to initial coverage from Tech Crunch, Google Wallet allegedly infringed U.S. Patent No. 7,298,271.
Although some questions remain about the true nature of the allegation, the 2005 patent supposedly being violated presents a “method and apparatus for providing awards using transponders.” Essentially, because Google Wallet could be used for rewards and similar incentive programs, it appears that a patent infringement claim is being made.
There is no assignment information recorded at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to determine if the patent may have been bought by another entity.
For now, Google isn’t formally commenting on the matter.
“Whether this case goes anywhere right now or not — and the timing appears to be odd, with the technology still struggling to take hold in the U.S., this appears to be a clear sign that patent litigation will expand into the mobile payments space as adoption of the mobile payment technology increases,” writes Leonid Kravets of Tech Crunch.