Another week, another patent lawsuit. This time, a Malaysian company StreetSpace has filed a lawsuit against Apple, Google, and their recently acquired mobile ad companies Quattro Wireless and AdMob, for violating U.S. Patent 6,847,969 which details a “Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Places.”
You may have seen StreetSpace’s “Web Station” public internet terminals around California, in place since 1999. StreetSpace also provides web-based network management software that allows remote content delivery to the WebStations over the network, with the ability to analyze location, user profiles, and usage history, and thusly deliver personalized content. StreetSpace believes that its intellectual property rights are being trampled by Apple and Google with their mobile devices and ad services.
Now looking at the product, and comparing a web kiosk to a handheld iPhone or Android phone seems a bit of a stretch. Even throwing in location based services into the mix, I’ll take a wild guess here and assume that the WebStations aren’t meant to be moved around. Their location is fixed, and the way you use it is totally different from how you use a mobile device that goes with you wherever you are. I’ll be surprised if this lawsuit goes anywhere.
Release the lawyers!