Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Not So Fast On Google's WiFi Patents?

There's been a lot of press coverage over the past few days about some patent applications from Google employees concerning various aspects of WiFi, mostly having to do with supporting free WiFi with ads. We pretty much ignored the stories, because they're just patent apps, not granted patents, and it's not clear what Google intends to do with them anyway. Still, though, Glenn Fleishman gets extra points for actually digging a bit deeper and finding out that much of what's discussed in these patent applications are most likely already covered by patents held by Wayport. Now, you can question why some of this is patentable at all, but before people run off saying that Google is going to own all ad-supported WiFi, it probably pays to wait a little while. As Glenn points out, Wayport could conceivably do a licensing deal with Google -- but it was amazing how quickly people jumped to conclusions concerning Google's intentions and their likely success.

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