10 Weird Patents That Google Owns

Software for Splitting Restaurant Bills
Bugging your friends to pay you their share of the restaurant bill might be a thing of the past, thanks to a Google patent. Doug Menuez/Photodisc/Thinkstock

This ever happened to you? You go to a restaurant with a bunch of friends, and the waiter will not allow split checks. So you offer to pay the bill, expecting to be reimbursed by the rest of the party for their share. The tricky part is, some of the group may "forget" to pay you back.

But don't worry; your days of reminding your friends to cough up may be coming to an end, thanks to a solution being developed by Google. In 2013, the company applied for a patent called "Tracking and Managing Group Expenditures." It envisions a software app — presumably for smartphones — that not only calculates how much is owed to the person who is paying the waiter, but also automatically transfers the money to that person's online account. Now all you have to do is get your friends to install this app before dining [source: Green et al.].