Google Trying To Patent Ads In RSS Feeds?

from the a-bit-late-to-the-game dept

Google apparently doesn’t want Microsoft to get away with all of the silly patent applications. The company, which was about the last one in the contextual advertising space to jump on the (somewhat annoying, honestly) “ads in RSS” bandwagon, has now filed for a patent on embedding ads in syndicated content. Again, considering that just about every contextual ad company is doing this without having read the Google patent (which was just released today), how could it possibly be described as non-obvious to a skilled practitioner?

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Comments on “Google Trying To Patent Ads In RSS Feeds?”

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allankliu (user link) says:

Google RSS Adwords Patent will introduce more pate

I read the patent of Google Adwords in RSS search result. I doubt if it is it real patent, ’cause some RSS search engines already implemented that functions.

No matter how Google return the Ads, the link will refer to its ad accounting scripts, which means that will be identified and skipped. That could be a patent filed by another person or companies.

BTW, I do know some ISP will replace the adwords by their own advertisements. Is it a big joke?

I am developing a mobile RSS reader, I choose some local RSS search engines as partners. I recommend them adding ads into the result. But I told them that I will delete/replace their ads by my advertisement when they insert too much.

Google adword RSS patent filing can block the search engines in US, but not world. Because US patent laws are different from the rest of the world.

Anonymous Coward says:

Why this patent wont get approved

I doubt Google will be able to get this patent. There are two questions that undermine this patent:

1. What constitutes as “syndicated content” or RSS? Is it any type file, or just RSS files? Is it any type of content, or is it the purpose of the content (syndicate vs. display to user)
2. Is the invention something new, or just a modified existing one. (and all that is changed is that is for syndicated content)

The patent refers to syndicated content most of the time, and at times it refers to it as RSS. However what is an RSS feed? It is just an XML document that lists items and descriptions. It is not very different from HTML, SMIL, ASX, etc. They are all structured documents used to display content to a user or to another machine. Syndication refers to sharing content with other companies, like for example most of the news today are syndicated from Reuters or Associated Press. However, RSS is mainly used today by RSS readers which resides in users computer – not sure that refers to syndication anymore.

As a bout the second point, there have been several products way before 2003 that delivered ads in the same method described in this patent. The only difference is that at the time they were not used for RSS feeds, but for HTML pages or SMIL.

One of these products is Real Server from Real Networks. This product allowed publishers to deliver ads in Real Player since 2000. Real Player uses SMIL( to display interactive content to a user, mainly video/audio. It is a sort of enhanced playlist markup language. Real Server allows publishers to host special SMIL files with special tags that specified to real server to insert an ad at that point in the SMIL file. When a user made a request to play the SMIL file, the Real server would contact the adserver(any adserver on the market) specified in the tag or in the configuration of the real server and pass any data to that adserver in the request, which in return would select an ad based on those parameters and serve it back to the Real Server. The ad returned would be a valid SMIL document which than the real server encapsulated in the main SMIL file and serve it to the user requesting it. (

However, Real Networks was not the first to come up with such invention. This invention can be traced back to the old server side include technology most webservers support back. Many adserver solutions on the market have utilized such methods to deliver ads on webpages from back in 1996. The main commercial adservers that are still alive are DART Enterprise (the old Netgravity, DoubleClick purchased in 1999) and 24/7 Real Media. Publishers that would use these product would install the adserver in their datacenters and integrate it with their webservers. When a user makes a request for webpage, the webserver contacts an adserver utilizing some plugin and passed to the adserver any information on the page (specified by the publisher). The adserver would select an ad based on the information and pass to webserver a chunk of HTML representing the ad.

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