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AN OVERBROAD PATENT ON Personalized purchase offers - This application from Ibotta, Inc. seeks to patent the idea of...Personalized purchase offers based on item-level transaction data from a physical retail receipt! 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications before they become patents. Follow @askpatents on twitter to help.

QUESTION - Have you seen anything that was published before 6/20/2011 that discusses:

  • Generating and providing personalized purchase offers based on item-level purchase data.

If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question. We welcome multiple answers from the same individual.

EXTRA CREDIT - Matching the item-level purchase data of at least one user with offer data. The offer data indicates purchases of a product of a provider of the offer over a specified number of shopping outings, manufactured by the provider of the offer or a competitor of the provider of the offer. "

TITLE: Method for generating and providing personalized purchase offers based on item-level purchase data.

Summary: [Translated from Legalese into English] Aggregating item-level purchase data for each of a plurality of users from multiple sources, the aggregated item-level purchase data comprising item-level purchase data from a physical retail receipt, receiving offer data from offer providers, selecting a user to receive an offer based on the aggregated item-level purchase data and the offer data, and transmitting the offer to a communication device of the user.

  • Publication Number: US 20120323663 A1
  • Application Number: US 13/571,150
  • Assignee: Ibotta, Inc.
  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior Art predating 6/20/2011
  • Open for Challenge at USPTO: Open through 6/18/2013
  • Link to Google Prior Art Search - "Find Prior Art"

Claim 1 requires each and every step below:

A method comprising:

  1. Aggregating item-level purchase data for each of a plurality of users from multiple sources, the aggregated item-level purchase data comprising item-level purchase data from a physical retail receipt;

  2. Receiving offer data from offer providers;

  3. Selecting, using at least one processor of a machine, at least one user of the plurality of users to receive an offer based on the aggregated item-level purchase data and the offer data; and

  4. Transmitting the offer to a communication device of the at least one user.

In English this means:

A method comprising:

  1. Aggregate item-level purchase data from a physical retail receipt of multiple users from multiple sources;

  2. Receive offer data from offer providers;

  3. Select the user to receive an offer based on the aggregated item-level purchase data and the offer data; and

  4. Transmit the offer to a communication device of the selected user.

Good prior art would be evidence of a system that did each and every one of these steps prior to 6/20/2011


"Personalized purchase offers based on item-level transaction data" from the Applicant


What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ.

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post your own request for prior art on other questionable US Patent Applications.


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Michah - what's the significance of "physical retail receipt" versus just a record (physical receipt, electronic record, line item in a book, etc)? –  noloader Dec 8 '13 at 13:00
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The basic principle is that the patent claims must be "given their broadest reasonable interpretation consistent with the specification.” The applicant is also free to act as his own lexicographer, meaning the applicant is allowed to define terms in the specification idiosyncratically, i.e. differently from their ordinary meanings. –  Micah Siegel Dec 8 '13 at 23:31
    
For the '663 application, I couldn't find a specific definition of "physical retail receipt" in the specification. It looks like the applicant is distinguishing "physical retail location" from "retail location" throughout the specification. Receipt would have its broadest, reasonable meaning unless it is narrowed in the specification somewhere. I interpreted "physical retail receipt" to be a "receipt" (construed broadly, as you did in your comment) which is issued from a "physical retail location" rather than a physical receipt from a retail location. Make sense? –  Micah Siegel Dec 8 '13 at 23:33
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I see "paper receipt" mentioned 21 times in the application. During prosecution the applicant can amend their claims to fall back to what turns out to be the most novel aspect. Doing this from paper receipts may well be part of that narrowing so I looked only for prior art that had paper receipts. –  George White Dec 9 '13 at 16:41
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The examiner uses broadest reasonable interpretation to get the applicant to narrow the words to what he/she really means. If the applicant says "collapsable" the examiner says "everything is collapsable if you apply enough force." You amend to say "non destructively without the use of tools". In this case I think it is clear that "physical" is intended to modify receipt, not location. –  George White Dec 9 '13 at 16:49

2 Answers 2

Methods and Apparatus for Gathering Intelligence from Itemized Receipts

US20120284081 A1

Abstract

The present invention is in the field of commerce, including e-commerce and pertains particularly to methods and apparatus for gathering intelligence from itemized receipts, as well as methods for using the gathered intelligence for targeted CRM and marketing.

From the specification:

...the itemized receipts are one or a combination of paper receipts and digital receipts ...

... real receipts and real matching product items listed on the same merchant site or across multiple merchants ...

... to directly issue targeted offers or marketing contents to the consumers.

This may not include 100% of the limitations.

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could you link the patent? –  McKay Dec 9 '13 at 14:10

Target has been doing this for a very long time. My guess is about 10 years. You go in to get cereal, and they'll print off a coupon for the brand that's paying them the advertising for the week. Or you buy some name brand, and there'll be a coupon for the Target Market Pantry brand with your receipt. There's even public cases of them having done it over the course of several purchases:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2012/02/16/how-target-figured-out-a-teen-girl-was-pregnant-before-her-father-did/

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