News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Electronic Transaction Card with Stylus", for Approval

August 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Branca, JR., Frederick F. (Patterson, NY), filed on January 31, 2013, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

The patent's assignee is MasterCard International Incorporated.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Many individuals carry transaction cards such as credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards and the like to complete daily purchases. Generally, completing a credit card or pre-paid card transaction requires the user or merchant to swipe the user's transaction card and also requires the user to provide a signature for security purposes. While the signature portion of the transaction is traditionally completed using a pen on a printed receipt, more modern transaction processing systems implement electronic touchscreens and provide a stylus for a user to sign the touchscreen such that a digital copy of the signature is automatically saved to the transaction processing system. Similarly, completing a debit transaction often requires a user to input a pin number on a touch screen reader with a stylus. A stylus, in the context of this application, is a computer accessory that can assist a user in providing more precise interaction with a touchscreen than can be had by using a finger. As such, styli are generally shaped like writing utensils so that they can be grasped by a user. Furthermore, the tip of a stylus comes to a point, much like a pen or pencil, to provide precision interaction with the touchscreen. However, the tip of a stylus is rounded so as not to damage (e.g. scratch) the screen or inadvertently puncture a user's skin if mishandled. The tip of the stylus is generally made from a material such as plastic that has a low coefficient of friction so as to easily slide when in contact with the touchscreen. The touchscreen is configured to detect the interaction of the point of the stylus with the touchscreen.

"Because the stylus of a transaction processing system is used by numerous individuals throughout the course of a day the stylus can become quite dirty, harbor bacteria and is generally unsanitary. While purchasing and carrying around a personal stylus is possible to avoid having to touch and use a 'public' stylus of a transaction processing system, carrying yet another accessory is inconvenient. Although the corners of currently available credit and debit cards can be used to interact with a touch screen, they are not suitable for this application because the radius of curvature of a corner is too large to provide precise interaction with the touchscreen as required when providing a signature.

"Therefore, it would be beneficial to have a credit/debit card with an integrated stylus that is specially adapted to be easily and effectively used in a sanitary manner and does not require the user to carry any additional accessories.

"These considerations are addressed by the present invention."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention concerns in a broad aspect a transaction card with an integrated stylus that can be used with touchscreen readers in transaction processing systems. The transaction card comprises: a base constructed from a substantially rectangular material having a front and back face defining a first thickness therebetween, and at least four corners; at least one of the corners has a shape defining a stylus tip and differs from the other corners; and an electronic storage medium bearing information presentable to consummate a financial transaction.

"According to another aspect, a transaction card with an integrated stylus is provided, the transaction card includes: a base constructed from a substantially rectangular material having a first and second face forming at least a first thickness; an electronic storage medium bearing information presentable to consummate a financial transaction; a stylus having a stylus arm and tip disposed within the stylus housing and in communication with an actuating member; and a mount configured to support the stylus in a first position in which the stylus is contained within a line defined by two corners of the base and a second position in which the stylus tip and at least a portion of the stylus arm extend beyond the line defined by two corners of the base.

"These and other aspects, features, steps and advantages can be further appreciated from the accompanying figures and description of certain illustrative embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1A is a front plan view of a transaction card in accordance one embodiment;

"FIG. 1B is a back plan view of a transaction card in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 1A;

"FIG. 1C is a perspective view of a transaction card in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 1A;

"FIG. 2 is a front plan view of a transaction card in accordance with a second embodiment;

"FIG. 3A is a front plan view of a transaction card in accordance with a third embodiment;

"FIG. 3B is a back plan view of a transaction card in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 3A;

"FIG. 4A is a front plan view of a transaction card in accordance a fourth embodiment showing the stylus in a retracted position;

"FIG. 4B is a back plan view of a transaction card in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 4A now showing the stylus in an extended position;

"FIG. 4C is a front plan view of a transaction card in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 4A also showing the stylus in the extended position;

"FIG. 5A is a front plan view of a transaction card in accordance with a fifth embodiment;

"FIG. 5B is a back plan view of a transaction card in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 5A; and

"FIG. 5C is a back plan view of a transaction card in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 5A."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Branca, JR., Frederick F. Electronic Transaction Card with Stylus. Filed January 31, 2013 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=5984&p=120&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: MasterCard International Incorporated.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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