From mishandling the Sydney hostage crisis to a driver allegedly committing sexual assault, Uber isn’t having such a great time these days. Yet the company is always on the lookout for ways in which to “improve” its position, which is why they want to patent their surge pricing “innovation.” Yes, that’s right. They want to patent – and therefore make more money off of – the way in which they make more money off of passengers than fixed-rate taxis.
According to CNN, Uber originally filed the patent in 2013 but the U.S. Patent Office rejected the application. Uber appealed, and now it seems the Patent Office made new rules that just might be more accommodating. Makes you think.
New guidelines announced by the Patent Office just last week could change the way the office rules on its application, according to a patent expert. The new rules seek to strike more of a balance between rewarding innovators and promoting free commerce, said Michael Messinger, a director at the law firm Sterne Kessler.
The Uber case is the type of case that could show how the Patent Office implements those new guidelines.
Convenient, no? I’m no authority on economics or legal matters, but of the “innovators” and “free commerce” mentioned above, I don’t think both can apply to Uber. Especially not after the anti-taxi rant my Uber driver went on last night. If I’d stayed in that car any longer, I would have surely endured the ol’ “I’m not racist, but…” line.