Crunchfish has received advanced notice of patent approval from the Swedish Patent and Registration Office for its innovation that determines whether a mobile phone is in absolute proximity of a base unit, such as an app terminal. The patent protects the invention of combining the measurement of a radio signal’s strength with some other form of proximity sensor to confirm absolute proximity. The patent is of strategic significance for Crunchfish and Blippit as it allows for a robust blip, regardless of the model of the payer’s mobile phone; this level of robustness is difficult to obtain without the complimentary proximity sensor. 

 

 

Figure: Drawing from the patent application that shows that the measurement of the radio signal strength is complemented by an additional proximity sensor.

The patent protects the innovation of complementing the measurement of the radio signal strength with an additional proximity sensor to determine whether a mobile user is in the vicinity of a base unit. This complementary sensor can be based on any medium, including light, capacitive, inductive, infrared, ultrasound, etc or even a mechanical button. This provides broad protection and makes it difficult for competitors to achieve such a robust blip.

When solely measuring signal strength, some mobile phone models could get an unwanted blip from up to a half a meter away, which creates a sense of instability. Alternative technology for a blip is Near Field Communication (NFC), which both cards and mobile phones can use to blip on a card terminal. The disadvantage with NFC is that many mobile phones still do not support the technology and it only supports interactions at a few centimeters distance. Bluetooth, which Blippit uses, is available in essentially all mobile phones, and it also enable merchants to trigger messages or discount offers to customers within certain distances from the app terminal.

The patent with Swedish application number 1950334-1 has priority until March 2039. An international PCT-application has been submitted, which means that the decision on which countries we wish to nationalise patents in can wait until 30 months after the filing date of March 19, 2019.

Crunchfish’s patent portfolio

Crunchfish’s strategy is to protect the company’s technology in all geographic markets deemed to be of significance. Crunchfish intends to continuously expand its patent portfolio to select markets and through inventions in both gesture control and proximity-based interaction.

This is the company’s 14th patent within proximity-based interaction, which means that Crunchfish now has obtained patents for 14 of 20 unique inventions in this area. In addition, Crunchfish also has patents for 11 of 12 inventions in the company’s other technology area, that of gesture control. The company owns all its patents and patent applications without restrictions.

For more information contact:

Chairman of the Board and Crunchfish’s IP manager

Joachim Samuelsson 0708 464 788, joachim.samuelsson@crunchfish.com

CEO Joakim Nydemark 0706 351 609,

joakim.nydemark@crunchfish.com

 

Link to original press release in Swedish: https://www.crunchfish.com/investors/pressmeddelanden/crunchfish-erhaller-patent-for-robust-blipp-vid-blippits-appterminal/