When Uber Technologies Inc. jacked up prices in Sydney this week to meet the demand of people fleeing a hostage crisis, critics accused the ride-sharing service of price gouging.
The company, though, makes no apologies for what it calls “surge pricing” — and in fact is seeking to patent it.
Uber applied for a U.S. patent last year for “dynamically adjusting prices for service” using mobile devices. The system measures supply (Uber drivers) and demand (passengers hailing rides with smartphones), and prices fares accordingly.
It’s one of at least 13 U.S. patent applications filed by Uber or its founders to give it an edge over potential rivals ahead of a potential initial public offering. So far, Uber hasn’t had any luck. Ten applications were initially rejected by the U.S. Patent and …
Via: Mashable: Startups