Regulation Uber Taxis

Uber seeking patent on controversial surge-pricing plan


By Jessica Davies, News Editor

December 20, 2014 | 2 min read

Uber is seeking to lock down the patent on its surge-pricing plan, in which it inflates fees according to demand levels.

The taxi-app service has faced a series of PR disasters over the last few months over scandals that have surrounded its brand overseas in New Delhi and more recently in Australia.

The service jacked up prices last week when it received a surge in demand for bookings as people in Sydney, Australia tried to flee the area in which dozens of people had been taken hostage at gunpoint.

Public outcry then prompted it to axe the surge-pricing, which had seen it ramp up charges to a minimum of $100 per fare.

It filed for a US patent last year for “dynamically adjusting prices for service” using mobile devices”, but has now received a wave of fresh criticism as it continues to push through the patent.

Uber has also been banned in Spain after a Madrid court ruled it did not have the right credentials to ferry passsengers, resulting in an unfair advantage over tranditional taxi services.

Meanwhile yesterday it was revealed it has halted operations in Portland for three months after being sued byt the city for failing to comply with local laws.

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