StreetSpace Sues Google, Nokia, Apple, Mobile Ad Networks For Infringement Of Location-Based Ads Patent

StreetSpace is a company you probably haven't heard of, but it's not a so-called "patent troll" seeking to cash in on unimplemented intellectual property. Rather StreetSpace is a company that has been around since 1999 and installs internet kioks in public spaces, such as airports, retail locations and restaurants. Here's a description of its main product, the "Web Station": The Web Station™ was envisioned with the idea that users would be able to simply "Walk up to the Web" in thousands of retail locations, shopping malls, banks, transit hubs, restaurants, café's and places of interest [...]


Oracle Sued Google Over Patent Infringement Of Java Within Android

Oracle has filed suit against Google for allegedly infringing on patents they hold for Java, which Oracle acquired last year. Karen Tillman from Oracle said, "In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement." Google said they have not yet been served the lawsuit so cannot comment on this matter. cNet News has more detail, explaining that the complaint says Google is violating several patents, including 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702; 7,426,720; RE38,10 [...]


Microsoft Moves To Gain Licensing Royalties From Android

The clever folks in Redmond (aided by their attorneys) appear to have found a way to gain "licensing revenue" from Android phones. That's right. Android the OS is "free," and that was seen, early on, as a competitive advantage vs. Windows Mobile, which had exacted a price of up to $15 dollars per unit from handset makers. Yesterday, however, Microsoft announced it had reached a licensing agreement with longtime partner HTC regarding its patent portfolio and Android phones: Microsoft Corp. and HTC Corp. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent [...]


Has Google Just Patented Geo-Targeting?

Google has been awarded a patent entitled "Determining and/or using location information in an ad system" that has very broad implications for PC and mobile advertising. While we all take geo-targeting today for granted, back when this Google patent application was filed in April, 2004 it wasn't as common. Dare I say it: Google may have just patented geo-targeting. Here's a discussion of the "what is claimed" from the patent: A computer-implemented method for controlling serving of an ad using its relevancy to a request, the method comprising: a) accepting, by a computer system including a [...]


Xerox Sues Google & Yahoo Over Search Patent. Copy That!

Google, Yahoo Sued by Xerox Over Search Query Patents Bloomberg reports Xerox has sued Google and Yahoo over search patents Xerox holds. Xerox says one patent automatically generate a query based on keyword searches, where Google's AdWords & AdSense and Yahoo's Search Marketing, YPN and other products allegedly infringe on. Another patent Xerox is suing the companies over is based on updating pages based on user reviews. Xerox sued Google and Yahoo on February 19th in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware. Xerox wants both compensation and to prevent Google and Yahoo from using the [...]


Google May Be Sued By Russia’s Quintura Over Wonder Wheel

paidContent.org reports Quintura, the Russian search engine, may be filing a lawsuit against Google over Google's Wonder Wheel "visual search engine interface." Quintura hold 8 patents on the technology and Google may be infringing the company's patents. Quintura CEO Yakov Sadchikov told paidContent: The strategy is to make all those search engines and tools that utilize a graphical user interface that is covered by our patent license it. We have identified several companies and services that could have infringed the patent. We plan to approach them at the same time with same request. [...]


DOJ Increases Scrutiny Of Google Book Settlement

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has sent formal requests ("civil investigative demands") to book publishers and Google regarding particulars of their book search settlement deal. That settlement has drawn considerable criticism from various third parties. The article characterized the requests as an "escalation" of the DOJ's probe: A New York publishing executive said the Justice Department is requesting documents about pricing, digital strategy and conversations with other publishers related to the Google settlement. "The Justice Department is clearly [...]


Google Sued For Patent Infringement Over AdSense, Again

Profy reports that a Russian company is suing Google for $3 billion over Google's contextual ad program, AdSense. The Russian company, Era Vodoleya, claims they patented contextual ads a year before Google came out with AdSense. The funny thing is this is not the first time Google was sued for patent infringement over AdSense. We reported back in August that Daniel D. Wexler is also suing Google for the same thing. Anyone else want to take shots at Google for AdSense? Profy suspects that the Russian company is simply looking to "blackmail" Google and settle out of court for a nice f [...]


Will Software Patents (Including On Search Algorithms ) Go Away?

It's fairly safe to say: 1) patent law is a mess, 2) patent law is in transition, and 3) newer court rulings are reducing the rights of patent holders. But in a very provocative argument, based on recent cases, the PatentlyO law blog argues that new rules and tests imposed by courts (though not yet the US Supreme Court) could effectively eliminate software patents. The article uses Google PageRank as the example, but the logic would equally apply to all software patents. Here's the critical summary of the new rules: In a series of cases including In re Nuijten, In re Comiskey and In re Bils [...]


Google, AOL, Yahoo, & Digg Sued For Playing Online Solitaire

Digg And Others Sued For Infringing Infamous Computer Solitaire Patent from Techdirt reports Google, Yahoo, AOL, and even Digg were all sued by Sheldon F. Goldberg for patent infringement of US Patent 6,264,560. The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls Sheldon a wanted person who has crimes against the public domain for threatening small online gaming websites and claiming to own basic online gaming architecture. He has been using these patents to threaten many companies but has now actually filed lawsuits against Google, Yahoo, AOL, and even Digg. The patent covers playing games like solit [...]


US Appeals Court Give Google AdSense Patent Victory But Autolink Still Under Question

U.S. appeals court hands Google patent case setback from Reuters reports a US appeals court has partially overturned the initial ruling in Google favor in a patent infringement case filed by Hyperphrase Technologies, LLC. The court supported the initial ruling that AdSense did not infringe on Hyperphrase patents, but it did not uphold the initial finding that the autolink feature in the Google Toolbar was not a patent infringement. Instead, it sent that portion of the case back to a Wisconsin district court for reexamination. The official decision can be read in this PDF file. [...]


Northeastern University Sues Google Over Index Database Design

Northeastern sues Google over patent from The Boston Globe reports that Northeastern University and a company founded by a Northeastern professor, Kenneth P. Baclawski, is suing Google for patent infringement. The issue at hand in this case is that Northeastern has patented a method of storing database queries back in 1997. It wasn't until about two years ago that Northeastern learned that Google was potentially infringing on that patent. It wasn't for another couple years that Northeastern was able to find lawyers that would take the case on a contingency basis. The complaint was filed o [...]


AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Sued Over Competitive Bidding Patent

AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Sued Over Competitive Bidding Patent from InformationWeek reports Performance Pricing filed a patent lawsuit (PDF document) against AOL, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo over how they use competitive bidding within their search ad marketplace. The patent, named Systems and methods for transacting business over a global communications, was granted in 2005, and covers actives such as "video games, electronic board games, crossword puzzles or other word games, sports betting, card games, or any other activity or combination of activities," InformationWeek reports. The [...]


Supplemental Results and Google’s Extended Databases

Until very recently, you might have seen a label next to a search result in Google that indicated it was a "supplemental" result. A couple of patents from Google, one of which was granted this week and one from earlier this year, discuss how a search query might return results from an extended database that sound a lot like a supplemental results. The Official Google Webmaster Central Blog announced that they would stop labeling their supplemental results in a post from July 31st, titled Supplemental goes mainstream. The authors, Prashanth Koppula and Matt Cutts, tell us that the system fo [...]


Local.com And Dueling Local Search Patents

A flurry of recently granted patents is starting to cloud the local search space. After being granted a patent for location-based search, Local.com this morning announced the awarding of another patent for an "ad supported 411 local search model." Local.com's stock shot up 52 percent on the announcement. The problem is Jingle Networks has a similar patent. And then there's the looming Geomas local patent that has both online and mobile implications. There's also a lesser-known local search patent that Microsoft owns through its acquisition of Vicinity Corp. in 2002. How all these potentia [...]


Local.com Announces Patent For Location-Based Search

I've got a patent, you've got a patent. It seems that nearly everyone running an Internet company has a patent nowadays. Local.com is the latest to announce a patent in the local space. The patent (no. 7,231,405), which I was unable to locate through a USPTO and Google Patents search, "covers local search technology related to identifying location information from web documents, indexing that information and making it searchable geographically" according to the press release. Jingle Networks, which operates 1-800-Free411, was recently awarded a locally oriented patent for ad supported direc [...]


Local Mobile Search Provider 1-800-Free411 Touts Patent Against Rivals

USAToday writes about a recently awarded patent obtained by Jingle Networks, which operates the 1-800-Free411 ad-supported directory assistance service. After conducting several searches at the USPTO and elsewhere I was unable to find a copy of the patent itself. However, according to the article: Jingle's patent, which it bought from inventor Scott Wolmuth, is for a system that plays an ad related to the listing a caller requests on a free 411 service. So, according to [Jingle CTO Scott] Kliger, a rival service that examines a caller's request for, say, Domino's Pizza in Atlanta, identifies [...]


Patent Suit Has Broad Implications For Local Search

Wired is reporting on a lawsuit filed in US District Court in Texas against Verizon and its now spun-off directory division Idearc. The suit (PDF file) claims infringement of patent 5,930,474, "Internet organizer for accessing geographically and topically based information." This goes to the essence of many if not most local search sites online today. It has similar mobile search implications as well. The suit was filed by UK-based Geomas (formerly Yellowone). The company is an IP holding company with no products in the market. It has raised roughly $20 million to date (essentially to suppor [...]


New Google Mobile Phone Search Patent Applications

Is there a Google Phone waiting to be released, or just mobile software that makes it easier for people to use Google to search with? How serious is Google about mobile search? How would such a system work? I ran into a patent application on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) pages from Google that describes a phone system that makes searching on a mobile phone much faster than it is now, but which would require that data be carried over more than one session connecting to the search engine during a single search. I haven't seen this published at the US Patent and Trademar [...]


Google Wins Google Earth Patent Case

Google wins key ruling in patent dispute from BusinessWeek reports that the patent case against Google over Google Earth has now been closed. Google has won the dispute dating back to 2002, when it was filed by Skyline Software Systems against Keyhole, which Google later acquired and whose software became Google Earth. Skyline held a patent, Remote landscape display and pilot training, which they felt Google Earth violated. [...]


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