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(i9) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication
(io) Pub. No.: US 2008/0140569 Al (43) Pub. Date: Jun. 12, 2008
(54) METHOD, SYSTEM, AND APPARATUS FOR APPROVAL OF AN E-COMMERCE TRANSACTION, USING ONE OR MORE APPROVING AGENTS
(76) Inventor: David Brian Handel, Galloway, NJ
11204 ALBERMYRTLE ROAD
POTOMAC, MD 20854
(21) Appl.No.: 11/609,345
(22) Filed: Dec. 12, 2006
(51) Int. CI.
G06Q 40/00 (2006.01)
G06Q 30/00 (2006.01)
H04L 9/00 (2006.01)
(52) U.S. CI 705/44; 705/26; 705/64
In one of the examples of current application, the general business process described here requires utilization of a third party to approve an e-commerce transaction, before it can be finalized. Most typically, the third party, hereinafter called the authorizer or approver is a parent or legal guardian of the person, hereinafter called the purchaser or user, attempting the purchase transaction. The authorizer may have a number of other possible relationships to the purchaser, such as being a friend, relative of any type, such as a spouse, a trustee, a person with power of attorney, or anyone the purchaser voluntarily elects to serve in that role. The authorizer (in many cases) will be someone legally required to be involved in order to give the purchaser the ability to make a purchase or make important decisions on Internet. In other situations, the election of having an authorizer (be involved with the account, or in an ad hoc transaction) is simply at the request of the purchaser.
Patent Application Publication Jun. 12, 2008 Sheet 1 of 2 US 2008/0140569 Al
Patent Application Publication Jun. 12, 2008 Sheet 2 of 2 US 2008/0140569 Al
METHOD, SYSTEM, AND APPARATUS FOR
APPROVAL OF AN E-COMMERCE
TRANSACTION, USING ONE OR MORE
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,173,269 (Solokl et al.) teaches a method of executing electronic commercial transactions with minors. Other examples of prior art are: U.S. Pat. No. 7,146, 328 (Rebates processing), U.S. Pat. No. 7,138,914 (Tracking services), and U.S. Pat. No. 7,134,131 (Process billing). However, these models are different from ours, and our system has not been taught, yet.
 In this disclosure, in one embodiment, we have developed a web site, which is a monthly subscription ASP (Application Service Provider) model site whose purpose is to offer a set of useful tools for those with declining memory (or anyone who wants some help with his/her memory). The software tools on the site are designed to help these people and their caretakers/family members organize their lives and make their days easier to manage. Included in that embodiment was a method for memory impaired seniors to make online purchases that would require electronic approval by a responsible caretaker or sub-user before the purchase could be finally executed. The purpose of this method is to prevent the memory impaired individual from making purchases that are not in their best interests.
 In general, in another embodiment, the subscription can be done daily, per-usage, yearly, flat-fee, or for free. The web site can be generalized as a broadcasting center (or webcasting or multicasting system), with or without any focused audience, such as paid members or certain age groups.
 In one embodiment, a web site has an e-commerce store doing any transaction, such as selling, renting, leasing, using, or performing, on any (different) goods, items, and services, tangible or intangible, such as furniture, appliances, music, books, movies, toys, opera tickets, sport event tickets, attorney pre-paid services, CPA pre-paid services, investment advice, stock purchase, or future stocks, items, contracts, or guarantees. The items could be in digital or analog form. They could be tangible or intangible. One can apply Digital Rights Management (DRM) and encryption to safe-guard and keep track of the ownership, assignment, trail audit, and usage, for example, for marketing, research, resource allocations, and accounting purposes.
 In one embodiment, some of the "patients" (or subscribers, users, or consumers) may wish to assign a "power of attorney" to a caretaker, guardian, approver, parents, older brother, judge, attorney, or a trusted family member, concerning their activities within the e-commerce store (or even within other areas of the site). Thus, the site allows subscribers or users to have "sub-users", who are caretakers, family members, friends, or advisors, to whom the subscriber can assign certain privileges, rights, or authorities. Concerning their activities within the store, a subscriber who might be underage or be of legal age but have impaired judgment with for instance mild Alzheimer's disease might decide, or the website itself may have a rule or requirement that one of their sub-users or guardians approve a purchase prior to its final submission. In the case of our web site, that sub-user is sent an
email and/or an SMS (or a signal on a pager, a text message on a cell phone, a message on the screen of a PC, a printout from a printer, a connection to the ADT security alarm system, calling 10 different telephone numbers sequentially, or any other method of notification or alarming a user), alerting them that they need to go to the site, log-in (manually or automatically), review the contents of the subscriber's shopping cart, and approve/disapprove the purchase.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of a typical system (one embodiment/example).
 FIG. 2 shows a typical flow diagram of the typical method or process (one embodiment/example).
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
 In one embodiment, the process of the current invention can be done without the interaction of the sub-user. For example, the sub-user's computer, cell phone, BlackBerry, or PDA can be automatically connected to a specific server, web site, or another computer, cell phone, BlackBerry, or PDA. Alternatively, the data can be downloaded or uploaded automatically (or with minimum interaction from sub-user) to the sub-user's device, directly orindirectly (forexample, through a for-profit or non-profit organization, providing such a service).
 In one embodiment, the e-Commerce shopping cart can be in multiple places, as a distributed entity, and the system aggregates for multiple web sites, as well as for multiple users and/or multiple sub-users, based on the default of the system or the preference of the users and/ or sub-users. The shopping cart canbe a hierarchical structure. For example, the grocery is in one category, and the books are in another category. This way, the management and assignment of the authority, plus levels of security, can be customized based on each category. For example, buying grocery may need no approval, buying books less than 100 dollars may need 1 approval, buying books with adult subjects may need 2 adult approvals, one with an age over 30, or buying the rare books with value over 100,000 dollars may need the court-appointed legal guardian's approval.
 In one embodiment, the approvals and credentials are done within a trusted system, which can have its own hierarchy. Some entity with a higher credentials can approve or authenticate some entity lower than itself, as long as some tests or conditions are approved or satisfied. Certificates (or certificates within certificates) (that is, digital certificates, throughout this disclosure) can be issued. One entity can approve another at different trust levels, depending on the degree of certainty or trust. The certainty can be dependent on the degrees of separation or mutual acquaintances between different entities.
 In one embodiment, the authorities can have position or context-based certificates. For example, one can replace the guardian of a minor child, and still use the same certificates and authorities. One or more certificates can be issued to an entity, for different purposes. There may be a central database or registry storing all the certificates, identities, real names, authentication rules, authority levels, security levels, limitations on web searches, limitations on web site access, or limitations on dollar amount spending (as a total value, per day, per item, per class, per web site, or per