ONLINE ESCORT SERVICE Patent Application - PRIOR ART REQUEST

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This Patent Application received a non-final rejection by the US Patent Office! An initial rejection is part of the typical course of a patent application.


Thanks to the YOU, the Ask Patents community, overly-broad claims have at least been narrowed. Follow @askpatents to block more overly-broad patent applications.

HELP SAVE AMERICAN INDUSTRY AND THE WORLD'S OLDEST PROFESSION - This application seeks to patent an online escort service. According to the inventor, “I had trouble finding dates when I was at MIT primarily because of the high male to female ratio, as well as my lack of social skills...The social problems I faced...eventually led me to (invent this technology).” 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications before they become patents. Follow @askpatents on twitter to help.

TITLE: Online Dating System

Summary: A method and system for balancing the supply of desirable users with the demand by other users to date them in an online dating system is provided. The method includes enabling a first user to make an offer to pay or to be paid a compensation for having a date with a second user. The offer made by the first user is transmitted to the second user. The second user responds to the first user by accepting, rejecting or making a counter offer. The first user and the second user are allowed to communicate only after any one of the users accepts an offer.

Claim 1 requires, among other things:

A method for balancing supply of and demand for dating desirable users in an online dating system, the method comprising:

  1. receiving from a first user an offer to pay, or to be paid, a compensation to have a date with a second user;

  2. transmitting said offer to said second user;

  3. receiving a response from said second user to either accept, or reject, said offer; and

  4. allowing the two users to communicate only after said offer is accepted.

Claims 7, 12 and 15 specify further that:

  • Compensation could be selected from a group consisting of money, points, gifts and credits.

  • Users could provide review or rating corresponding to the other user whom they have dated.

  • The terms or conditions of the "date" could be negotiated.

The specification notes that:

  • The Invention should not be limited to the types of software operating system, web-server software, database software, software development language, server or client hardware.

Give me $100 and I'll date you!

QUESTION - Have you seen anything that was published before 10/26/2011 that discusses:

(1) offers to pay; or (2) offers to be paid for dating desirable users in the manner described in claim 1?

If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question. Only one piece of prior art per answer below. We welcome multiple answers from the same individual

Help protect American Industry!


What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ.

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post your own request for prior art on other questionable US Patent Applications.


Micah Siegel

Posted 2013-05-21T20:31:14.683

Reputation: 1 815

The "world's oldest profession" wasn't considered as prior art? Granted such negotiations existed long before computers and the Internet existed, but the jump from in-person-on-street-corners to telephone to Internet seems an obvious improvement over the last millenia or two. – Ron J. – 2013-05-22T13:21:51.450

This is a yet-to-be-examined aplication as of the comment above. While there might be something patentable disclosed, as claimed, it is probably anticipated, obvious and abstract. – George White – 2013-05-22T16:31:36.510

The non-final rejection mentioned under the big red stamp was for being too abstract to be patentable subject matter and for obviousness under a US application 2013/0080335 in light of other US applications. The examiner seems to have found prior art without our help. – George White – 2013-09-24T04:36:04.723

Answers

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A quick google search found the website www.whatsyourprice.com that offers at least a very similar service (and seems more dignified about it than the inventor's site). Whois says the web site was registered in 1999.

This site is by the inventor also. The first wayback machine capture with the current type of comtent is April 2. 2011. So it was before filing but since it was his own work it falls within the 1 year grace period.

icann record of whatsyourprice.com

enter image description here

George White

Posted 2013-05-21T20:31:14.683

Reputation: 14 100

the domain name may be misspelled - whatisyourprice.com is a parking page (and has been since 2003 on the Wayback machine). – Ron J. – 2013-05-22T13:16:27.133

@Ron. - thanks I fixed it – George White – 2013-05-22T17:25:54.160

George, Whatsyourprice.com is a service founded by Brandon Wade. Wade is the founder of Seeking Arrangements, Inc. and he is the inventor listed on this patent application. – Micah Siegel – 2013-05-22T17:30:42.013

2Thanks, I just stumbled across that and edited the answer before I saw your comment. I trust that my fellow MIT grads are better known for more lofty achievements. – George White – 2013-05-22T18:12:54.437

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Besides a subject matter problem for trying to patent "prostitution via the web," there are other examples. Some cited here: http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21611074-how-new-technology-shaking-up-oldest-business-more-bang-your-buck

Adultnet.com, mentioned in the article, appears to have been around since 1995. Can't say I'm familiar with the features of that site first hand.

William Wallace

Posted 2013-05-21T20:31:14.683

Reputation: 21