Tuesday, November 01, 2005

BioPay obtains biometric check cashing patent, US 6,957,770

Biometric identification is a big deal. BioPay announced the issuance of a patent which includes a claim to a method for enrolling an individual in a biometric check cashing system.

Nov. 1, 2005--BioPay, the leading biometric transaction processor, announced today that the company has been issued a patent for their biometric check cashing process marketed as BioPay Paycheck Secure. U.S. patent 6,957,770 covers methods for speedy enrollment of check presenters and automatic assessment of transaction fees based upon merchant defined rules. BioPay houses the nation's largest commercial biometric database and its Paycheck Secure product is a complete payroll check cashing solution designed to stop fraud and speed check cashing transactions.

"This patent affirms our place as the industry leader in biometric transaction processing," says Tim Robinson, President of BioPay. "By creating check cashing and payment transaction solutions that rely on an individual's unique finger image, BioPay is minimizing check fraud and identity theft and enhancing consumer privacy because nothing is 'left-behind' at the time of transaction."

Since its founding in 1999, BioPay has been leading the industry in terms of biometric process patents, with 40 pending. BioPay has also gained distinction as the intellectual capital leader by developing patents, rather than acquiring them, and boasts the most diversified patent-pending portfolio in the biometrics industry.

BioPay has enrolled more than two million consumers in its biometric database and has successfully authorized transactions in excess of $7 billion. More than 1,500 merchants in 42 states are using one or more of BioPay's methods for processing financial and other transactions requiring identification, such as payroll check cashing, biometric payments, loyalty programs and age verification programs.


The application for US 6,957,770 was filed May 10, 2002.

The first claim is a method claim with five steps:

A method for enrolling an individual in a biometric check cashing system, comprising:

receiving identification information from an individual for enrollment in the check cashing system;

transmitting said received identification information to a central database to determine whether a portion of said identification information already exists in an account in said central database, each of said accounts including registered biometric data;

receiving, from the central database, additional enrollment information from an existing account in said central database, and an account status of said existing account;

enrolling said individual in a local database using said additional enrollment information; and

declining an enrollment request if said existing account does have a negative status associated therewith.

One notes that the "accounts includ[e] registered biometric data" but that the method need not rely on "registered biometric data" to decline an enrollment request. This could be a problem for validity.

Claim 32 has the oxymoronic text: a reasonably unique number.

Within the specification one has references to other patents:

Alternative solutions to the above-described systems include various other more technologically advanced proposals that use biometrics to verify the identity of a consumer desiring to cash a check. One such proposal is outlined in U.S. Pat. No. 6,145,738 and in U.S. Pat. No. 6,149,056. This system, however, is automated and does not connect the merchant with the check cashing process. Therefore, the system is not a service offering to help merchants establish consumer loyalty and a strong consumer base.

US 6,145,738 has been cited in nine (9) US patents.

As of Nov. 1, 2005, there were 178 US patents with the word "biometric" in the title. US 6,959,874 (issued 1 Nov 05) claims priority to five (5) distinct provisional applications. The first claim of the '874 patent recites:

A method for storing biometric information on a token comprising at least a magnetic storage medium, the method comprising:

capturing a biometric image and generating biometric data therefrom including generating pixel data for an array of image pixels comprising a series of consecutive and colinear image pixels;

obtaining a personal identification number (PIN); and

storing the biometric data and the PIN on the magnetic storage medium of the token.

US 6,711,465 entitled Vending machine having a biometric verification system for authorizing the sales of regulated products
has first claim:

A method of permitting only authorized users to use an automated vending machine, comprising the steps of:

providing each of the authorized users with an identification card that contains age data and fingerprint data of the authorized user;

providing a vending machine having an identification card reading device and a finger print scanner, wherein said vending machine vends an age restricted product selected from a group consisting of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages;

reading said age data and said fingerprint data from an identification card inserted into said identification card reading device in said vending machine by a potential user;

scanning an actual fingerprint from the potential user using finger print scanner;

comparing scanned actual fingerprint of the potential user to said fingerprint data contained on said identification card;

enabling the vending machine if said scanned actual fingerprint of the potential user matches said fingerprint data contained on said identification card and if said age data contained on said identification card indicates that the potential user is older than some predetermined minimum age.

Notice also Robert D. Bellis, Biometric Identification of Vending Machine Customers, GB 9917763.6

US 6,615,191 entitled Software licensing and distribution systems and methods employing biometric sample authentication has been cited in two US patents, including in US 6,871,287, entitled System and method for verification of identity.


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