Target Brands, Inc., a subsidiary of Target Corporation, (TGT:NYSE), recently was issued a U.S. Patent for a gift card concept in which multiple gift cards can be sold in a package.
The patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,614,548) issued on November 10, 2009 and is titled: “Stored-value card assembly with a plurality of stored-value cards”. In the
Here’s how the patent describes the concept:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Stored-value cards and other financial transactions cards come in many forms. A gift card, for example, is a type of stored-value card that includes pre-loaded or selectively loaded monetary value. In one example, a customer buys a gift card having a specified value for presentation as a gift for another person. In another example, a customer is offered a gift card as an incentive to make a purchase. A gift card, like other stored-value cards, can be “recharged” or “reloaded” at the direction of the bearer. The balance associated with the card declines as the card is used, encouraging repeat visits to the retailer or other provider issuing the card. Additionally, the card generally remains in the user’s purse or wallet, serving as an advertisement or reminder to revisit the associated retailer. Gift cards provide a number of advantages to both the consumer and the retailer.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
One aspect of the present invention relates to a stored-value card assembly including a plurality of stored-value cards and a package. The plurality of stored-value cards each include an account identifier linking the respective stored-value card to a different financial account or record. The package is configured to maintain the plurality of stored-value cards such that the account identifier of each of two of the plurality of stored-value cards is visible for scanning. Other related products and methods are also disclosed and provide additional advantages.
Target Brands, Inc. owns a number of patents, however most of the issued patents relate to products sold or designed by Target Brands.
Patents in the gift card area show that retailers, banks and ISOs continue to see tremendous value and potential in the gift card market.