Apple files patent for in-app purchasing

It seems that Apple wants to patent every possible thing available there in the world of technology. Apple has recently filed a patent with USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) for the in-app purchasing technology. The in-app purchasing allows user to buy content from within an application from an outside store without having to exit the app. The patent which was originally filed on 26th April 2010 could actually affect companies like Microsoft, Google, RIM and many others if it is approved and those companies may have to stop providing this service to its users or provide another alternative.

As of now we just have to wait and see if this patent is granted by USPTO to Apple or not, and if it does, then how do other companies react and develop a new alternative for it.