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Google patents splitting the bill

Problems of our time solved

Google has patented a method of working out how to split a restaurant bill. Google Patent Application 20130262294 claims to have come up with a fair method.

The filing outlines a system, such as a mobile app, for automatically storing information about group expenses, tracking how much is owed by different people in the group, and ultimately settling the balance by transferring money between their respective accounts.

Ironically six Googlers are listed as inventors on the patent filing so we guess they will have to split the royalties. According to the filing, people engage in activities as a group. When the group incurs a bill, typically one of the group members will pay the bill out of convenience and expects to be paid back by the other group members. However, some group members may not pay back their entire share of the bill or may forget and not pay back their share at all. This is unfair for the group member that paid the bill.

Thus, there is a need in the art for an efficient way to track group expenditures and settle balances between group members, the filing said. The patent application, “Tracking and Managing Group Expenditures,” was originally filed in March 2012 and made public this week.

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