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Upaid's prepaid m-commerce patents extended

New patent strategically positions Upaid as provider of prepaid-postpaid convergent payment & settlement solutions for m-commerce applications

(PARIS – February, 11, 2002) – Upaid, a pioneer of real-time software solutions for next-generation pay-as-you-use voice, data and payment services to mobile operators, service providers and financial institutions, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded additional patent protections for the company’s real-time payment and settlement processing platform. The new award, an extension of the 40 claims awarded under US patent 6,320,947, expands Upaid's existing method patent protection from real-time processing of prepaid m-Commerce transactions to postpaid m-Commerce transactions. The additional 30 claims give Upaid intellectual property ownership of real-time m-payment processing for both cash and credit-based accounts of any kind. The new award also expands the company's patent coverage to include the processing of settlement data in real-time, an area of increasing interest for the data mining software industry.

David Dunn, Chairman of Upaid, underscored the company's commitment to method patents as a strategic risk management tool for competing in the rapidly evolving mobile payments sector: 'To provide advanced software solutions such as Upaid, companies must own the intellectual ground under the business models they enable for their customers. The recent withdrawal of PayPal's IPO, due to a lawsuit filed by a competitor for possible patent infringement, is a compelling example of the risks of launching a business in this sector without the necessary underlying intellectual property protections.'

Additional elements of Upaid's newly awarded patent include coverage for a single, universal account for pre-authorised transactions across multiple networks, expanded coverage for account recharge capability from financial service providers, and coverage for various types of rating for next-generation services, whether time, duration- or volume-based.

Upaid's patent protections date from 1998, and extend to 46 countries worldwide. The new award also carries the 1998 priority date.

For further information, please contact :

Nick Giles or Sam Routley
MS&L;/ for Upaid
Tel.: +44 (0)20 7878 3151 / 3137
Nick Giles / Sam Routley

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