United States Patent 7,349,868

7,349,868

Pre-qualifying sellers during the matching phase of an electronic commerce transaction

Issued:  March 25, 2008

Assignee:  i2 Technologies US, Inc. (Dallas, TX)

Inventors:  Tenorio; Manoel (Mountain View, CA)

Abstract:  A system providing seller pre-qualification during the matching phase of an electronic commerce transaction includes a directory structure 44 comprising multiple hierarchically organized product classes, each product class categorizing multiple products and defining one or more attributes of the products categorized in the product class. The system also includes one or more pointers for each product class, each pointer identifying a seller database 32 in which product data enabling a product transaction is stored for products categorized in the product class. Each seller database 32 is associated with a seller 30 having values for one or more seller attributes. The system further includes a search interface 45 operable to communicate, in response to selection of a product class and specification of one or more seller attribute criteria, a search query for product data only to one or more seller databases 32 associated with sellers 30 having seller attribute values matching the specified seller attribute criteria, these seller databases 32 being identified by the one or more pointers associated with the selected product class.