or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Reissued patent could give Apple control of location-based services
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Reissued patent could give Apple control of location-based services

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Apple has been granted a location services patent that is so basic it could possibly cover any existing location-based system, giving the iPhone maker a powerful weapon in its already formidable intellectual property arsenal.

It was revealed that the US Patent and Trademark Office issued Apple a patent on Tuesday that pre-dates current location services technology, is broad enough to cover almost any location-based system and could possibly be leveraged against industry rivals, reports CBS News.

The granted claim is actually a reissue of a location services patent Xerox filed for ing 1998 and was subsequently granted in 2000. According to the USPTO, the Apple took ownership of the claim on Dec. 17, 2009.

"In other words, this patent is old enough to predate much of what is now happening in both mobile and social media," reports Erik Sherman. "Even worse -- for Apple's competitors -- it's broad."

The claim covers a system in which a device displays information specific to its location, with no restriction as to what type of data is displayed. This means that any location sensitive service like location-based ads, which Apple implements in iAds, or local restaurant ratings can be protected by the patent.

The first independent claim of the patent helps to partially summarize what the patent possibly covers:

A location information system that displays location specific information, the location information system, comprising: a receiver that receives location identification information from at least one site specific object identifying a location.Iadd., where the at least one site specific object is a beacon.Iaddend.; and a transceiver that transmits the location identification information to a distributed network and that receives the location specific information about the specified location from the distributed network based on the location identification information, wherein the location specific information provides information corresponding to the location.

Technical specifications as to how the system works is broadly worded, saying that a device must receive data that identifies its location from at least one site specific object. The data is then transmitted via a transceiver to a distributed network that sends back information about the device's location or surroundings.

This effectively covers a wide range of means to obtaining location-specific information including GPS, which Apple specifically included in the reissue of the patent by broadening the claim's language.

For example, a GPS satellite sends a signal to a mobile phone with GPS capabilities that then relays the information to the Internet through a data network and receives location-specific information in return. Upon receiving the location data, a device can implement the information into ads, apps, or in any way the manufacturer sees fit.

Input to distributed network | Source: USPTO

The wording is so broad that even QR codes or images from a mobile device's camera can be considered as input information.

QR code input | Source: USPTO

Because many smartphones have GPS capabilities and a vast majority have cameras, Apple could possibly leverage the patent against mobile phone manufacturers that use input information for location-based services.

Software such as Facebook and Foursquare could also fall under the claim's purview as some of the services offered can be considered location-specific.

"Given that location-based service is one key to the mobile ambitions of virtually everyone else in the industry, the patent could give Apple control over some hot parts of mobile technology, including location-based innovation in advertising, social networks, mapping, flash deals, and augmented reality," Sherman writes.

Apple has yet to leverage the patent in any way, and it remains unclear what exactly would constitute infringement, however it seems that the company now owns a very powerful piece of intellectual property.
post #2 of 52
This could be big.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #3 of 52
I'm surprised that Garmin, or some other GPS device company, hasn't already done so, because these devices were using mobile technology in the 90's, or maybe even before. Must be more to this story for sure.
post #4 of 52
Apple is not gonna go after all these GPS companies, just Google. lol
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
Apple had me at scrolling
Reply
post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This could be big.

Unbelievably big. Seems Steve Jobs may have had this in mind when saying "I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this.
post #6 of 52
Bammo! :d

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

Reply

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

Reply
post #7 of 52
Yikes. Strong buy!
post #8 of 52
Holy $hit!... The potential revenue stream from this is bigger than all the iPods put together!!!
EVERY mobile device out there potentially falls under this patent... Even more important is that every mobile device made from now on (until the patent expires) falls under this patent... Location services is what MOBILE is ALL about!!!!!!!

Hold on to your AAPL stock because OMFG this is big!!!
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

Unbelievably big. Seems Steve Jobs may have had this in mind when saying "I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this.

Each time I read that quote I can't help but be reminded of the movie War Games...

Apple: Shall we play a game?
Google: How about a nice game of chess?
Apple: Later. Right now lets play Global Thermonuclear War.
post #10 of 52
I am sure there has to be more to this patent. Its so general that there is definitaely prior art on this.

Its the kind of patent apple cant actually sue with because it would likely get invalidated.
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

I'm surprised that Garmin, or some other GPS device company, hasn't already done so, because these devices were using mobile technology in the 90's, or maybe even before. Must be more to this story for sure.

How does the CIA, FBI or NSA already not pwn this patent?
post #12 of 52
just one more thing!!
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

How does the CIA, FBI or NSA already not pwn this patent?

Can they? Own patents, that is.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Can they? Own patents, that is.

Oh yes! Here's one that applies to Mary-Jane.

Edit: it can be easily argued that H&HS is easily more powerful than Justice Dept or Homeland.
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post

I am sure there has to be more to this patent. Its so general that there is definitaely prior art on this.

Its the kind of patent apple cant actually sue with because it would likely get invalidated.

???
And? Why have a patent if it does nothing for you?
If they are getting nothing now, then why wouldn't they sue to possibly get something?
And if they don't vigorously defend it, then they will lose it
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bagman View Post

I'm surprised that Garmin, or some other GPS device company, hasn't already done so, because these devices were using mobile technology in the 90's, or maybe even before. Must be more to this story for sure.

Most GPS units only receive the location based signal. The patent is for one that receives it then transmits the location over a distributed network. It was not until traffic became available on GPS's that the second part was utilized.
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post

I am sure there has to be more to this patent. Its so general that there is definitaely prior art on this.

Its the kind of patent apple cant actually sue with because it would likely get invalidated.

This is not a FRAN or feature that is required to make smart phones work, it's simply a very popular feature that Apple now has control of the patent for.
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

How does the CIA, FBI or NSA already not pwn this patent?

Military, aka us gov't, would own it, not a specific agency.
post #19 of 52
Throw this patent at Samsung in every country on the planet !!!
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom1981 View Post

I am sure there has to be more to this patent. Its so general that there is definitaely prior art on this.

Its the kind of patent apple cant actually sue with because it would likely get invalidated.

Prior art to 2000 when it was first granted (which means it was submitted in the 90s)?
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post

Military, aka us gov't, would own it, not a specific agency.

Why? I'm moving to Misouri to throw out a " show me!" Agencies, Beaurus, Commissions et al live under the Executive.
post #22 of 52
I wonder who is going to argue that injunctions pursued based on this patent aren't anti-competitive.
post #23 of 52
Boom!
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
post #24 of 52
Yeesus Marta!

What is mobile shopping, socializing, VR, maps/traffic/navigation, advertising...

Nay, what is Mobile Without Location Awareness?
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
post #25 of 52
New iOS function...

Find my Patent Infringer!
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
post #26 of 52
I would certainly benefit if Apple actually monetized this, but I seriously doubt they would even if they could. It sounds like the patent is so broad that it would be rather abusive to collect money for it, and I can't see them trying to get all others to remove location based services from their products. However, they may be able to use it as additional ammo against infringers like Samsung or for cross-licensing deals, which I think would be fair, and also for defense against patent trolls.
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post

I wonder who is going to argue that injunctions pursued based on this patent aren't anti-competitive.

I can see it being considered anti-competetive to Garmin, et al -- but to computers, phones and tablets... not so much!

Remember... Apple has only a small percentage of each of these markets
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
post #28 of 52
" it seems that the iPhone maker now owns a very powerful piece of intellectual property."

If this patent can be enforced the above quote would seem to be somewhat of an understatement.
post #29 of 52
the current battles in the Apple vs Samsung HTC et al vs Apple war are starting to suggest that patents are nearly useless.

Or worse, just really freaking dangerous if you use them, as the other party starts requesting to see all your secret data.

I don't really agree with patents, but as they are a law then they should be effective.
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
Reply
you only have freedom in choice when you know you have no choice
Reply
post #30 of 52
The government issuing such a broad patent is simply a joke. patents should be narrower in scope.

I bet many will challenge this and it will not be enforceable

And Apple has had not LBS technology at all - no iPhone until 2007 and no LBS platform and they licensed Google maps - for Apple to get this patent in 1999 or therabouts is joke to USPTO
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by eat@me View Post

The government issuing such a broad patent is simply a joke. patents should be narrower in scope.

I bet many will challenge this and it will not be enforceable

And Apple has had not LBS technology at all - no iPhone until 2007 and no LBS platform and they licensed Google maps - for Apple to get this patent in 1999 or therabouts is joke to USPTO

They didn't, xerox did and apple bought it.
post #32 of 52
There go Apple's silver bullet!
post #33 of 52
This one patent could be worth more than the 12 Billion Google paid for Motorola.
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #34 of 52
Broad. Open. Non-specific.

The slide to unlock is a perfect patent. It patents a specific method under a specific condition on a specific type of device. Targeted and narrow.
post #35 of 52
Certainly good for the mobile markets, just the type of thing that should encourage even more development. With Apple's history of giving back to the industry, encouraging innovation and consumer choice, I think this could be great news. Facebook, Bing, Google, 4Square, Twitter, the telcos, etc. have little to be concerned with.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #36 of 52
* The original patent is patent no. 6,122,520, issued on September 19, 2000 (U.S. patent application no. 09/023,116).
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...ery=PN/6122520

* The reissue patent is patent no. RE42,927, issued on November 15, 2011 (U.S. patent application no. 12/874,155)
http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...&RS=PN/RE42927

* All reissue patents start with "RE"

* What is claimed in the reissue is almost certain to be different, to some degree, from what was claimed in the original patent. The original patent must be forsaken to get the reissue.

* U.S. Patent and Trademark Office information portal: http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair
post #37 of 52
Here is a random post on reissue patents: http://www.maierandmaier.com/documen...eissue-FAQ.pdf
post #38 of 52
The patent keeps talking about linking GPS coordinates to web pages and adding GPS coordinates to URLs. It seems to be very browser-specific. Would this cover apps? When a weather app shows the weather near me it is not using a browser.

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

Reply

Please update the AppleInsider app to function in landscape mode.

Reply
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post

And if they don't vigorously defend it, then they will lose it

That goes for trademarks, not patents.
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
Reply
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
Reply
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisIsAlive View Post

Here is a random post on reissue patents: http://www.maierandmaier.com/documen...eissue-FAQ.pdf

From question 10

"The doctrine protects third parties who have made decisions based on the scope of the original patent, only to find themselves infringing the reissued patent."

I'm not a patent lawyer but I'd think this means the patent has more value to Apple as protection and very little to go after Sumsung or Google.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Reissued patent could give Apple control of location-based services