it's just business
Calling it "dynamically adjusting prices for service" is how ride-sharing company Uber hopes to sell the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on its "surge pricing" system, Bloomberg reports.
The company's method of raising prices when demand for Uber drivers increases — what some call price gouging, Bloomberg notes — will probably not qualify for patent approval. Uber hasn't had much luck with the process so far; the company has filed at least 13 U.S. patent applications, 10 of which have been rejected for reasons such as "obviousness."
While patent examiners have yet to address the surge pricing application, experts said if the system essentially computerizes a normal business practice, it most likely won't qualify for a patent.