CLEAR has moved a step closer to gaining a U.S. patent for its biometric boarding pass technology. The company, which deploys lanes at airports through which travelers can scan biometrics such as fingerprints to get through security quicker than other people, says it received a “notice of allowance” from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the boarding pass technology.
We have created a travel experience where you never have to break stride or take anything from your pockets to go from curb-to-gate.We have created a travel experience where you never have to break stride or take anything from your pockets to go from curb-to-gate.
A notice of allowance is not an actual patent, according to that office. Rather, if the office finds that a patent application is “allowable,” officials will send the notice to the applicant, with the patent fee due within three months from the date of notice, according to an explanation from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If the applicant fails to pay that fee on time, the “application will be regarded as abandoned.” It was not immediately clear how much the patent fee for this technology is, or when the deadline for paying it was.
The ease of biometric boarding pass technology
According to CLEAR, the “patent application covers a biometric solution that enables end-to-end access throughout an airport without producing ID or boarding pass information.” The company’s biometric boarding pass technology allows fliers to check bags, enter the airport lounge and board planes by tapping their fingers so that their fingerprint biometrics can be read by CLEAR machines.
“We are very excited about this patent and the technology we are bringing to the marketplace,” said Caryn Seidman Becker, CLEAR’s CEO. “CLEAR piloted this solution in 2015 at San Jose International Airport and received extremely positive customer feedback. We have created a travel experience where you never have to break stride or take anything from your pockets to go from curb-to-gate.”
The news of the notice of allowance for the biometric boarding pass technology comes amid a busy time for CLEAR. Earlier this year, it said it had raised $15 million from T. Rowe Price’s New Horizon Fund. That fresh capital will go toward further development of biometric technologies along with expansion into new airports and stadiums, the company said.
CLEAR already serves the following airports: Atlanta, New York John F. Kennedy, New York LaGuardia, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Detroit, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston Bush, Houston Hobby, San Antonio, Austin, Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas, Baltimore-Washington, Seattle, Washington Dulles, Washington Reagan, Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Westchester County Airport in New York. The company has also deployed its technology to Yankee Stadium and Citi Field in New York, Coors Field in Denver, Marlins Park and American Airlines Arena in Miami and AT&T Park in San Francisco.
CLEAR is not the only company attempting to provide an end-to-end biometric process for airports. While the patent allowance is certainly a step forward for the company, other national and international players will certainly object to the ultimate ‘patentability’ of the process.