Computer giant Apple has reportedly filed documents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for an electronic concert ticketing system that would be run...

Computer giant Apple has reportedly filed documents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for an electronic concert ticketing system that would be run through its popular iTunes store.

According to the Web site PatentlyApple.com, the system is currently referred to as “Concert Ticket +” and would allow fans to buy paperless concert tickets through an iPhone app and on iTunes while they are also buying music or other merchandise. In addition to concerts, tickets also could be to sporting events and amusement parks, in addition to other things that require tickets or invitations for entry.

Paperless ticketing remains a small, but growing, segment of the overall event ticketing industry, but Live Nation Entertainment’s Ticketmaster division and Texas-based company Veritix are making considerable investments into the technology, which both believe is the future of event ticketing.

John Mayer’s upcoming summer tour is utilizing paperless tickets, and last year’s Miley Cyrus tour did the same.

While offering certain conveniences, such as the ease of swiping a credit card to gain entry to an event, paperless ticketing also has some drawbacks, such as a lack of transferability of tickets over a multitude of platforms. Apple’s iTunes store is proprietary, which would appear to continue the lack of transferability, but if a consumer electronics and music-selling colossus like Apple enters the space, paperless ticketing would clearly gain more momentum.

To gain entry into a concert or event, the Apple system would offer scanning of iPhone screens or of other radio frequency identification-enabled devices or cards, according to PatentlyApple.com. Fans may also be able to purchase other related items in addition to the tickets, such as concession food, t-shirts or even live recordings of the concert they attended.

Apple originally submitted documents about the system in late 2008, but the application has only recently come to light. Earlier this year, Tix Corp. was granted a U.S. Patent for a proprietary ticketing system that it is developing.

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By Alfred Branch Jr.

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