(io) Patent No.: US 6,453,306 Bl (45) Date of Patent: *Sep. 17,2002
Speidel et al., "Impact of electronic contracting on contract formation under revised UCC Article 2, Sales", C878 ALI-ABA335, Dec. 1993.*
Ritter, "Scope of the Uniform Commercial Code:Computer contracting cases and electronic commercial practices", 45 Bus. Law 2533, Aug. 1990.*
Rosso, "Ticket bidding firm closes its doors", Travel Weekly, Mar. 1992.*
Pelline, "Travelers bidding on airline tickets; SF firm offers chane for cut-rate fares", San Francisco Chronicle, Section A4, Aug. 1991.*
www.softway.com, entitled "Softway's Distribution Model", 9/12/1997, pp. 1-3.
* cited by examiner
Primary Examiner—-Vincent Millin
Assistant Examiner—Cuong H. Nguyen
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—U. P. Peter Eng; Wilson
Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
A system that permits commercial transactions over a network of computers is described. In one example, the network of computers supports communications between business relation data structures. The business relation data structures reflect credit relationships between two or more businesses. To perform a commercial transaction, a consumer accesses a vendor's Web site. The consumer selects an item to purchase from that Web site. The vendor computer then generates a proposal. The proposal includes an item identifier and a price. That proposal is then propagated to all of the business relation data structures with which the vendor's business relation data structure can communicate. At each one of the recipient business relation data structures, the proposal is modified and forwarded on to other business relation data structures. The modifications are based upon the credit relations between businesses. This modification and forwarding continues until the consumer's computer is reached with a set of proposals. The consumer then accepts a proposal that best suits her needs. This acceptance is then propagated back to the vendor computer. The vendor can then deliver the item to the consumer.
27 Claims, 6 Drawing Sheets