A patent expected to issue shortly may give a San Francisco-based financial services company control over a large chunk of Internet commerce.

A recent NextCard Inc. press release announced that the company has received a “notice of allowances” from the Patent Office on an application for issuance of online credit. Typically, such notices are precursors to patent issuance. The company quickly claimed on its Web site that such patents awarded to Internet companies “offer a 12 to 24 month competitive advantage.”

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