There are several patents out there like this: you buy a beer, on this bottle is an individual code, you can use this code on the campaign website to win a price or get a voucher e.g for an online shop.
AOL (America Online) did this since 1992, you all know these CD-Roms, right? ;) The already did it with 3.5inch disks, you have a code and depending on the code you get a certain amount of free online hours. Let's call it rebate ;)
Is this prior art for a patent like this one?
1. Method for granting rebates on products and/or services, characterized in that
- an information carrier is made accessible to a customer at the purchase of a product and/or in connection with receiving services, which carrier contains information about the amount of a rebate issued to him/her for the purchase of the product or for receiving the service, in coded form, and/or about the product or the service,
- that the information of the information carrier is fed into a telecommunication device and transmitted to a central administration unit by way of a telecommunication network, by means of the telecommunication device,
- that the customer automatically receives credit for the value of the rebate on the product or the service, in the administration unit, for telecommunication services or other data technology services, free of charge to the customer, which the customer can make use of immediately and/or with a time delay, by means of telecommunication devices, by way of technical facilities made available by the central administration unit, whereupon the rebate that was granted expires.