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Google files WiFi patents

     
4:12 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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.


[news.zdnet.com...]

Looks like Google ads will be coming your way at your Google hotspot.

4:19 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if this will be a case of Google super-imposing adverts on top of the browser? In other words, advertising, without recompense to you, on your website?

I see mention of the word "toolbar" in the patent linked to, but they also refer to "background screen"...

4:27 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think Google would be sued if they start placing ad's over websites without compensation.
5:40 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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websites without compensation.

If they are offering free wireless, and someone chooses to use it, then there is nothing anyone can say.

5:51 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If they are offering free wireless, and someone chooses to use it, then there is nothing anyone can say.

If they display an ad prior to showing your website, then that is fine. If they display ads while showing your website so that the ads are unquestionably coming from the delivery mechanism, then again, that is fine.

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.

6:39 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think Google would be sued if they start placing ad's over websites without compensation.

Has anyone sued About.com or Opera for doing that?

6:49 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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think Google would be sued if they start placing ad's over websites without compensation.

Has anyone sued About.com or Opera for doing that?

It is more fun to sue Google. You can get a lot of press coverage.

7:40 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Plus suing Google is the new fad approach to getting lots of inbound links.
8:33 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So; Google is going to get a hook into browsers to identify WiFi services, and alter content.


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

Abstract
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.

Source: [appft1.uspto.gov...]

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

.

8:50 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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.

Agreed.

But there might also be trouble if they are displaying ads while the user is on your site, even if they are clearly marked as ads.

9:06 pm on Mar 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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...