January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

PowerBuy Wins Patent

Internet-based group buying service Mercata has received the first-ever U.S. patent on group buying methods and technology for proprietary systems supporting its PowerBuy group purchasing program, the Bellvue, Wash.-based company announced today.

The systems deliver dynamic pricing capabilities to Mercata.com and its We-Commerce Network, which enables manufacturer, merchant, portal and community web sites to offer products for sale in a group-buying format. Specifically, the patent protects business methods and systems used by Mercata that permit sellers to dynamically decrease the price of a featured item as more buyers join the group.

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