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Please see the patent filed on the URL: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2015/0310570.html

The claims of the patent are: 1. A system comprising: a processing device; a memory operatively coupled to the processing device, the memory to store a pricing rules engine, executable by the processing device from the memory, the pricing rules engine to: determine an offer price for a booking at a travel property, wherein the offer price is based on a capacity of the travel property and a forecasted demand for bookings at the travel property; compare the offer price to a rule threshold; and when the offer price exceeds the rule threshold, adjust a sub-rate price discount for a sub-rate at the travel property according to a representative rate charged by competitor travel properties in an identified competitor set, the sub-rate price discount comprising a difference between a sub-rate price and the offer price, wherein to adjust the sub-rate price discount for the travel property, the pricing rules engine is configured to reduce the sub-rate price discount in order to make the sub-rate price equal to the representative price, and maintain an availability of rooms at the travel property for the sub-rate.

  1. A method comprising: determining an offer price for a booking at a travel property, wherein the offer price is based on a capacity of the travel property and a forecasted demand for bookings at the travel property; comparing, by a processing device, the offer price to a rule threshold; and when the offer price exceeds the rule threshold, adjusting a sub-rate price discount for a sub-rate at the travel property according to a representative rate charged by competitor travel properties in an identified competitor set, the sub-rate price discount comprising a difference between a sub-rate price and the offer price, wherein adjusting the sub-rate price discount for the travel property comprises reducing the sub-rate price discount in order to make the sub-rate price equal to the representative price, and maintaining an availability of rooms at the travel property for the sub-rate.

  2. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing instructions which, when executed, cause a processing device to perform operations comprising: determining an offer price for a booking at a travel property, wherein the offer price is based on a capacity of the travel property and a forecasted demand for bookings at the travel property; comparing, by the processing device, the offer price to a rule threshold; and when the offer price exceeds the rule threshold, adjusting a sub-rate price discount for a sub-rate at the travel property according to a representative rate charged by competitor travel properties in an identified competitor set, the sub-rate price discount comprising a difference between a sub-rate price and the offer price, wherein adjusting the sub-rate price discount for the travel property comprises reducing the sub-rate price discount in order to make the sub-rate price equal to the representative price, and maintaining an availability of rooms at the travel property for the sub-rate.

The claims seem to suggest the inventor is looking to patent a rule engine which basically offers discounts on competitor price and computer system which stores said rules engine. But travel properties already keep their own rates off from competitors rates by various degrees as per their comfort level. It also a common practice within Hotel Management industry to charge higher rates for higher demand and vice versa for lower demand, as in other industries such as Airlines, Car Rentals. Existing property management systems already have rules devised in them having claim 3 being practised for last 20 years.

This actually seems straightforward, am I missing something here?

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I don't have time for a detailed response but ... you can read the details of what is going on with this application at http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair. The application has received a non-final rejection, a final rejection, an RCE, a non-final rejection, and a final rejection on 3/16/2016. 3/16/2016 is an 18 page response from the examiner once again stating that this is an abstract concept and can't be patented. (duh!) Expect one more RCE, followed by appeals.Appeal process will take a year or more. If the patent ever gets allowed, expect more legal action if owner ever attempts to enforce it.

summary: you can TRY to patent anything. doesn't mean you will end up with a valid patent.

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