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Conditional purchase offer management system for use in an e-commerce auction system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004397D
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-03
Document File: 2 page(s) / 43K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

While the companies active in e-commerce have developed widely used systems for accepting conditional purchase offers (CPOs), there has yet to be the application of such systems to an auction setting where multiple bids are viewed in comparison with one another. What is needed is a management system for receiving CPOs from one or more customers in such an application, and for evaluating the received CPOs against a number of CPO rules defined by a seller to determine whether the seller is willing to accept a given CPO. This system is similar in its framework to that patented by Walker Asset Management, but the application to an auction e-commerce entity is new to the art.

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Conditional purchase offer management system for use in an e-commerce auction system

While the companies active in e-commerce have developed widely used systems for accepting conditional purchase offers (CPOs), there has yet to be the application of such systems to an auction setting where multiple bids are viewed in comparison with one another. What is needed is a management system for receiving CPOs from one or more customers in such an application, and for evaluating the received CPOs against a number of CPO rules defined by a seller to determine whether the seller is willing to accept a given CPO. This system is similar in its framework to that patented by Walker Asset Management, but the application to an auction e-commerce entity is new to the art.

Figure 1 is a block diagram showing the architecture of an illustrative CPO management central server 100 for use in an e-commerce auction system. The CPO management central server 100 preferably includes certain standard hardware components, such as a central processing unit (CPU) 105, a random access memory (RAM) 110, a read only memory (ROM) 120, a clock 125, a data storage device 130, and communications ports. The CPU 105 is preferably linked to each of the other listed elements, either by means of a shared data bus, or dedicated connections. CPU 105 preferably includes a control unit, an arithmetic logic unit (ALU), and a CPU local memory storage device, such as, for example, a stackable cache or a plurality of registers, in a known manner. These elements are noted in Figure 1 as a crypto processor 108. The control unit is operable to retrieve instructions from the data storage device 130 or ROM 120. The ALU is operable to perform a plurality of operations needed to carry out instructions. The CPU local memory storage device is operable to provide high-speed storage used for storing temporary results and control information.

In operation, the data storage device 130 includes a customer database 200, a seller database 300, an auction schedule database 400, a CPO rules database 500, and a CPO and buyer evaluation process 600. Customer database 200 preferably stores information on each customer of the CPO management system 100, including biographical information and billing information, such as a credit card number. Seller database 300 preferably stores information on each airline, which is registered with the CPO management system 100 to sell offered items to CPO customers, including address and contact information. Auction schedule database 400 preferably stores specific time and date information for items to be auctioned. Rules database 500 preferably contains a record of each CPO being processed by the CPO management system 100, including the terms of the CPO and the associated status. Finally, CPO and buyer evaluation process 600 represents the information management system used to determine auction sales, thereafter proceeding to billing systems widely known in the art.

Figure 1 CPO ma...