Local Search… Patented! Again!
from the well-this-ought-to-be-fun dept
Just a couple weeks ago we were writing about a patent holding company that was claiming a patent on location-based search, with plans to sue just about everyone. Apparently, they’re not the only one. A company called Local.com put out its own press release today claiming it now has a location-based search patent. While the company doesn’t announce that it’s going to sue everyone, you don’t put out such a press release for no reason. Also, the CEO of the company claims: “we believe the methods covered have subsequently become the de-facto standard for information retrieval in the local search industry.” Of course, in saying that, he’s basically admitting that the idea was pretty obvious, because everyone moved in that obvious direction. Won’t stop them from demanding licensing fees though. The patent itself was filed in 2005 — by which point just about everyone in the space had already begun investing heavily in local search offerings. While the patent supposedly explains one method of doing local search, as you read through it, it does seem like a pretty damn obvious way of doing local search. There must be some prior art on this. In the meantime, though, if you were wondering what a patent thicket is, now you know.