updated 04:15 pm EDT, Mon August 30, 2010
Real-world patent use could aid plaintiff
Apple and newly-absorbed subsidiary Quattro Wireless are just two of several targets in a new lawsuit from Malaysian company StreetSpace, says AppleInsider. The firm is responsible for the Web Station, a web-browsing kiosk supported in part through targeted advertising. The defendants are accused of violating US Patent 6,847,969, Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Spaces.
The iAd system developed by Apple and Quattro is said to violate StreetSpace's patent by using location, profile and history data to personalize ad content. The case is being handled through the US District for the Southern District of California, and includes a demand for a jury trial. Other defendants include Nokia, Navteq, Jumptap and Millennial Media, as well as Google, and its own mobile ad subsidiary AdMob.
Unlike some other patent lawsuits, the StreetSpace filing is notable in that the company has rolled out practical applications. In the late 1990s, the company says it had kiosks scattered throughout cafes, bookstores, restaurants and other shops in Berkeley, California; over 30,000 users were registered. Still other terminals were present in the Olympic Village in Salt Lake City, Utah during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
More recent business clients include several Malaysian banks, namely Maybank, CIMB and AFFIN. Having a tangible product could aid StreetSpace's case, although the defendants are more likely to settle out of court than risk the expense of a trial. Patent cases can sometimes take years to complete.