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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded the search giant a patent for using location in an advertising system last Tuesday, which is the emerging business model for most consumer-facing location startups today.
Filed six years ago, the patent is fairly broad. It covers using location for targeting, setting a minimum price bid for an ad, offering performance analytics, and modifying the content of an ad.
However, the location-based ad patent may give Google a nice big stick as it goes head-to-head with Apple in the world of mobile advertising. Both companies have acquired or agreed to acquire a mobile ad network in the last three months; Google agreed to buy Admob for $750 million in November, while Apple bought Quattro Wireless in January. Google actually bucked a patent Apple owns last month, when it added multi-touch functionality to its Android operating system. Perhaps this is the card the search giant had up its sleeve.
[edited by: tedster at 7:14 pm (utc) on Mar 2, 2010]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]
and f) if it is determined that the ad has geolocation price information corresponding to the geolocation information accepted, then determining, by the computer system, a score using at least the geolocation price information, otherwise determining, by the computer system, the score using at least general price information of the ad
determining a score using at least the geolocation price information if it is determined that the ad has geolocation price information corresponding to the geolocation information accepted, and otherwise determining the score using at least general price information of the ad
Software patents really need to be scrapped. Almost every patent relates to a simple mechanism or concept that a person with half a brain (such as myself) can come up with almost automatically when presented with a similar problem.
I would agree that software patents have outlived any usefulness they may have had. Too many ways to get from point A to point B to allow such broad protection.
In this case I think it would be good to bury the USPTO in prior art for geotargeting ads. This was a bad patent.
Am I only the one seeing it this way? It's impossible to copy Google's (and Facebook's) "ideas" because their server-side code isn't visible. All attempts at something like what they have would be completely original. Somehow they've created a flying craft and forbid anyone else to make their own attempt at one, however different it may be.