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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published three wireless-related patents filed by Google employees as the search giant seeks to delve deeper into the wireless market.
Looks like Google ads will be coming your way at your Google hotspot.
If they are offering free wireless, and someone chooses to use it, then there is nothing anyone can say.
If the ads blend in with the website in anyway, however, then they are copying and repackaging copyrighted material, and need permission from the publisher.
United States Patent Application 20060058019
Chan; Wesley T. ; et al. March 16, 2006
Method and system for dynamically modifying the appearance of browser screens on a client device
In one embodiment, a connection of a client device to a wireless access point is identified. Further, the appearance of a screen presented on the client device is modified to reflect the brand associated with a provider of the wireless access point.
NOTE: This is a patent application, not "patent".
This patent should be rejected. How can anyone thing that the idea to "...cause an appearance of a screen presented on the client device to be modified to reflect a brand associated with a provider of the wireless access point..." (Claim 16, Pat App. #20060058019), be any different than commonly accepted practices such as;
- when you dial a phone number that is serviced by a TelCo other than your own --- they play a recording that says the brand name...
- a Cable TV station running local ads in alloted commercial time slots and "branding" the ads as coming from "Your Local Cable Company XYZ"...
- I just printed a calendar for a local arts group. In exchange for sponsoring the events and underwriting the cost of printing the calendars, a few local companies got to have their logos printed on the inside cover. How is this any different than this patent? The "end user" gets a printed calendar for free. The service provider gets a "plug" -- the printed piece was "altered" to support the advertising sponsors. Can I patent this "process"?
What if the user connects to the WiFi point for email versus "browsing"... Take Eudora in "sponsored mode" for instance. The user agrees to view an ad on their screen in exchange for license to use the mailer software. (This is the same thing as "Eudora in sponsored mode", but for the WiFi access which Google is attempting to patent).
What if a user connects for an FTP session? Telnet?
How idiotic to think that because the connection is wireless versus "wired", (or that it is a computer process displaying sponsor's logo/info and ads), is innovative.
Ad revenue is turning brilliant computer programmers and engineers into glorified advertising marketeers
Has anyone sued About.com or Opera for doing that?
I guess both quite clearly demark where their part of ends and the real source content begins so its not exactly advertising "on your site". If Google were to integrate ads into the top of websites then they would have to be very very clear about it. Also with my little knowledge of CSS I'm not sure how they would deal with absolute positioned CSS stylesheets. Maybe it will become a webmaster trick in future to overlay your content over the Google ads with CSS with unclear code...