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Owner of location-based advertising patent targets Apple's iAds

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Apple and its fledgling iAds mobile advertising service are the target of a new lawsuit from a company that owns a patent related to location-based ads.

Apple was named along with a host of other wireless advertising companies in the lawsuit from StreetSpace, including Quattro Wireless, which was purchased by Apple earlier this year and is now being phased out in favor of iAds. Other defendants include Google, AdMob, Nokia, Navteq, Millenial Media and Jumptap.

StreetSpace is headquartered in Malaysia, and the company is the creator of a remote Internet terminal known as the Web Station. Users can walk up to one of these terminals to access the Internet, and are delivered targeted advertisements in the process.

Related to that invention is U.S. Patent No. 6,847,969, which StreetSpace has alleged Apple and others are in violation of. Named "Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Spaces," it was granted on Jan. 25, 2005.

The lawsuit notes that StreetSpace's mobile terminal products were available in the late '90s at bookstores, retail stores, cafes and restaurants in Berkley Calif., and had more than 30,000 registered users. The "Street Line" terminal, as it was then known, was also used during in the Olympic Village at Salt Lake City, Utah, during the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Now known as the Web station, the product is said to be used by a number of leading banks in Malaysia, including Maybank, CIMB Bank and AFFIN Bank.



The suit alleges that Apple's iAds service, launched in iPhone applications on July 1, is in violation of its patent because it delivers personalized advertisements based on a user's location, profile and usage history. The delivery of ads on the iPhone, iPod touch and (eventually) the iPad is infringing on the '969 patent owned by StreetSpace, the company claims.

The complaint was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California.
post #2 of 38
I patented a way for lawyers to sue rich companies over patents. Now, lawyers, pay up.

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post #3 of 38
Does Apple ever sue to protect its patents? God knows they file a lot of them. Seems like the only time they sue is a countersuit in response to someone else. Just wondering.
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post #4 of 38
You know it's nice to see someone starting a patent infringement action when they themselves actually have a product based on the patent. What I can't stand is people who have a patent, have done nothing with it, then sue to make money.

That said, this does seem to be a spectacularly broad patent, which irritates me as well.
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Does Apple ever sue to protect its patents? God knows they file a lot of them. Seems like the only time they sue is a countersuit in response to someone else. Just wondering.

Um...yes. HTC (or, the "Google phone maker" according to most media outlets so that it appears that Apple sued Google) comes to mind. Psystar as well.
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post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Does Apple ever sue to protect its patents? God knows they file a lot of them. Seems like the only time they sue is a countersuit in response to someone else. Just wondering.

In addition to the aforementioned HTC and Psystar suits, Apple has recently filed a number of design-related suits against various accessory manufacturers.

Their lawyers probably send a lot of cease-and-desist letters which presumably are complied with.

You can see a select list of litigation right here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_lawsuits

When Apple is listed first, they are the plaintiff.
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motlee View Post

Um...yes. HTC (or, the "Google phone maker" according to most media outlets so that it appears that Apple sued Google) comes to mind. Psystar as well.

Yeah not very often. It doesn't mean that they are not protecting their patents through closed door negotiations. There is no doubt that is how the HTC thing started. Unlike most of these companies that start lawsuits, Apple isn't in the business to sue other companies so it doesn't happen very often.

Personally, I hope this is thrown out. Apple isn't in the Internet Kiosk business. Not to mention that this is an overly broad patent.
post #8 of 38
How can you patent location based advertising in the first place? Posting an ad in a local newspaper is effectively the same thing as the people who read the newspaper are likely from the area. What about a bulletin board? The only people that it targets are the ones standing in front of it.

Edit: If you wish to point out that you can patent the method of delivering targeted advertising, others have already done so. Refer to post #14.
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post #9 of 38
every article is about lawsuits and patents lately.
i'm looking forward to wednesday when we have some mac hardware [and software?] news
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

How can you patent location based advertising in the first place? Posting an ad in a local newspaper is effectively the same thing as the people who read the newspaper are likely from the area. What about a bulletin board? The only people that it targets are the ones standing in front of it.

i agree with you, and i'm sure every lawyer will too, but here's the issue: "Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Spaces"
post #11 of 38
What's Good For The Goose...
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motlee View Post

Um...yes. HTC (or, the "Google phone maker" according to most media outlets so that it appears that Apple sued Google) comes to mind. Psystar as well.

It appears that you're/the media are unaware that HTC also manufactures numerous handsets than run other (than Android) mobile operating systems.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #13 of 38
Geez, what's next? Maybe the map makers will sue all the GPS device makers for "providing maps based on the user's location". Then we can all trash our GPS devices forever, and go back to folding and unfolding paper maps. I love one of the local law firms, which ends its ad (true ad) with this clever phrase: "Lawyers you'll like" (what?...as opposed to all the others?) which implies what everyone already thinks of the "profession" in general.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

i agree with you, and i'm sure every lawyer will too, but here's the issue: "Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Spaces"

I'm no lawyer, but I just looked (briefly) into their method and I fail to see how it applies to today's internet advertising at all. They identify users by a different means (smart card), and they determine location through a different means (kiosk identification number). The only thing remotely similar is that they maintain a database of a customers usage history. I'm not sure how they could claim ownership to that (some stores have been asking for personal information for ages). They also limit the patent to public spaces and specifically exclude the home. Their focus is on things like kiosks and bank machines.

I do wish that AI would link the patents in question.
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post #15 of 38
Anyone else notice the DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL notation? Isn't that done all the time by patent trolls to get a gullible jury that doesn't know anything about technical issues to vote their way?

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post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

How can you patent location based advertising in the first place? Posting an ad in a local newspaper is effectively the same thing as the people who read the newspaper are likely from the area. What about a bulletin board? The only people that it targets are the ones standing in front of it.

As has been stated many times before in patent suits, you do not get a patent for the idea. You get a patent for a specific implementation of an idea. So, this company patented a specific way of doing location based advertising or something similar.

The company is suing Apple because they believe that Apple is using their specific method (or parts of their method) in iAds.
post #17 of 38
Perhaps we worry about these sorts of suits too much only because they are reported so often. We rarely hear about what the outcome was in most of these instances.

Studies show that the person claiming to be the 'patentor' wins less than 25% of the time (i.e., the supposed infringer wins 75% of the time) in such suits.

Moreover, the odds of the patentor win are correlated with the plaintiff's size and whether they are a corporation: large corporations such as Apple are more likely to win than smaller corporations or an individual.

Here's a cite: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...ract_id=960633
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by grking View Post

As has been stated many times before in patent suits, you do not get a patent for the idea. You get a patent for a specific implementation of an idea. So, this company patented a specific way of doing location based advertising or something similar.

The company is suing Apple because they believe that Apple is using their specific method (or parts of their method) in iAds.

I briefly outlined their methods in my previous post. They seem unrelated to how the companies they sued deal out location based advertising. Given that they sued so many companies, I can't help but think that this is anything but patent trolling. They must have hit some rough financial waters. Maybe they do have case, I only skimmed their patent and I'm not an expert, but it certainly doesn't look like they do.
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post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The complaint was filed last week in a U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California.

Wonder what took so long to file?
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I briefly outlined their methods in my previous post. They seem unrelated to how the companies they sued deal out location based advertising. Given that they sued so many companies, I can't help but think that this is anything but patent trolling. They must have hit some rough financial waters. Maybe they do have case, I only skimmed their patent and I'm not an expert, but it certainly doesn't look like they do.

We must have posted at about the same time, as yours about the patent was not there when I posted.
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

It appears that you're/the media are unaware that HTC also manufactures numerous handsets than run other (than Android) mobile operating systems.

Appearances can be deceiving. I am fully aware that HTC produces handsets that run WinMo and the like. If you search for Apple sues HTC, several of the "headlines" read Apple sues Google phone maker...
Apple sues Google apparently gets more clicks than Apple sues HTC.
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post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by grking View Post

We must have posted at about the same time, as yours about the patent was not there when I posted.

Fair enough. You were correct in identifying that the method of implementation is what is important and I definitely didn't mention that in my first post.
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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Anyone else notice the DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL notation? Isn't that done all the time by patent trolls to get a gullible jury that doesn't know anything about technical issues to vote their way?

I don;t think the jury get to see that paperwork (EDIT: I see what you mean now but your sentence can be taken two ways) and it's boilerplate stuff anyway.

EDIT 2: Claims 1-10 in the patent looks to be a pretty good fit to what iAds does. From the remainder of the claims though it appears to focus on fixed devices but if you take the strict wording of claims, only claim 11 of the particular system would be in dispute.

What is claimed is:
1. A system, comprising:
a terminal, wherein said terminal has an identification 45
code for determining an exact physical location of said
terminal;
a database having a profile for a user; and a program for displaying personalized information,
wherein said personalized information is selected for 50
display based upon said profile.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein said personalized information is also selected for display based upon said usage history information.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein said personalized 55 information is also selected for display based upon the exact physical location of said terminal.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein said personalized information includes an advertisement.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein said personalized information includes an online service.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the system records the time said user logs on to and logs off of the system, and wherein said personalized information is also selected for display based upon the time said user logs on to the system.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein said profile is progressively developed and updated based upon said usage history information.
8. The system of claim 7, wherein said program displays advertising content tailored to said user's interests and behavior.
9. The system of claim 1, wherein said terminal comprises a keyboard and a touch sensitive screen.
10. The system of claim 1, wherein said terminal comprises a credit card swipe terminal for processing credit transactions.
11. The system of claim 1, wherein said terminal is publicly accessible.
post #24 of 38
deleted
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

You know it's nice to see someone starting a patent infringement action when they themselves actually have a product based on the patent. What I can't stand is people who have a patent, have done nothing with it, then sue to make money.



Why? They own it and can do with it as they wish.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

How can you patent location based advertising in the first place?.


You can't. Their patent was for "Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Spaces,".

Their patent was for a method and a system. It provides personalized data, unlike your examples. It provides the data online, unlike your examples. Some of the data is advertising, which is where your examples are tangent to the real situation.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

Geez, what's next? Maybe the map makers will sue all the GPS device makers for "providing maps based on the user's location".

That seems pretty unlikely.

What is more likely is that the Patent system will get increasing press, and the public will learn about it, and demand that reforms be implemented which better tailor the system to the new technologies.

That is the general history of intellectual property law in the US.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1984 View Post

Anyone else notice the DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL notation? Isn't that done all the time by patent trolls to get a gullible jury that doesn't know anything about technical issues to vote their way?

It is their right under the Constitution. Some people think it is a good thing.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motlee View Post

Appearances can be deceiving. I am fully aware that HTC produces handsets that run WinMo and the like. If you search for Apple sues HTC, several of the "headlines" read Apple sues Google phone maker...
Apple sues Google apparently gets more clicks than Apple sues HTC.

Apple sues Google is #4

http://twitpic.com/2jse36/full
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

Apple sues Google is #4

[/IMG]

Apple Sues HTC, the Maker of Google's Nexus One Phone - WSJ.com

Apple Sues Google Phone Maker HTC Over Patents Again

Apple Sues HTC, the Maker of Google's Nexus One Phone - NYTimes.com

Apple Sues Google Nexus One Maker HTC for iPhone Patent ...

Ghana News :: Apple Sues Nexus One maker HTC over iPhone patents ...

Apple sues Google phone manufacturer – SciTechBlog - CNN.com Blogs
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post #31 of 38
I don't think of my iPhone as a terminal. It is a mobile computer.
post #32 of 38
Also it seems the device in question is stationary and has multiple profiles which identify individuals in a public place. Cell phones have the profile of one individual, are mobile and are used by the owner.
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

It is their right under the Constitution. Some people think it is a good thing.

Wow you really are condescending. Yeah, some people abuse the hell out of it too. The point was that demanding a jury trial for lawsuits regarding complex technological issues is often done when they know they don't have a case. Their only chance is a tired and confused jury.

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     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

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post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

It is their right under the Constitution. Some people think it is a good thing.

...seem <almost> magically trollishious. Dial back the snark just a tad junior.
post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

It is their right under the Constitution. Some people think it is a good thing.

Uh, perhaps you need to study a little bit more.
The Constitution does not mention anything about civil lawsuits. You get a jury in a criminal trial (which this is not).
The Constitution is all about limiting the power of the federal government in relation to the states and citizens.
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

Why? They own it and can do with it as they wish.

They can, but I think it stifles innovation and stops some interesting products coming to market.

I had an idea for a product a few months back, researched it, got as far as having a PCB layout done then thought I'd better do a patent check and, sure enough, the idea is patented. It has been for years. The patent owner has done nothing with it in terms of creating something people can actually buy and use, but it's stopped me in my tracks.

Just because the patent owner can do with it as they wish doesn't make it right.
post #37 of 38
Can you say static vs. mobile?
I knew you could.
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtron View Post

You can't. Their patent was for "Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Spaces,".

Their patent was for a method and a system. It provides personalized data, unlike your examples. It provides the data online, unlike your examples. Some of the data is advertising, which is where your examples are tangent to the real situation.

Apparently I need to edit my first post, since I've been told this three times already and we are only on the first page. If you would have scrolled down the page a little, you would have seen that I responded to the first poster that pointed this out and discussed how I didn't feel the method that they patented didn't have any relevance to the companies they are suing.

I can understand that it becomes difficult to read several pages of posts to see if the point you want to bring up has been discussed, but come on, we are on page one.
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