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US Patent

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 3:40 pm
by Teo
Geo-location on US have a patent ?

If true, it's forbidden to use some geo systems with US customer ?

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http://www.avnonline.com/index.php?Prim ... _ID=107182

DULUTH, Ga. - Digital Envoy has won a U.S. patent for a technology it describes as "non-invasively" targeting the physical location of Web surfers, which it says is essential for doing business in cyberspace. The company's recent announcement could also accelerate a battle over the technology with Google, with Digital Envoy vice president Rob Friedman vowing the company would enforce the patent vigorously.

"We feel that no other provider will be able to offer accurate geo-location solutions without infringing on our patent rights," Friedman said in a statement. "We plan to aggressively defend our patent in order to protect the techniques, methods, and applications of this technology that offer so much value to our partners and customers."

This technology is described as pinpointing the physical location of Web surfers right down to the city level, based on IP addresses. Google licensed the technology, which Digital Envoy calls IP Intelligence, but Digital Envoy sued accusing the search kings of violating the licensing deal by offering ads on third-party Websites.

"This patent acknowledges that Digital Envoy is the inventor of geo-location technology, and we are pleased to be officially recognized as pioneers in IP Intelligence," Digital Envoy chief strategy officer Sanjay Parekh said in a statement. The company also describes Parekh as a co-inventor of the IP Intelligence technology.

"Before Digital Envoy, attempts were made to geo-target Internet users by relying on things such as registry information, which is highly inaccurate," he continued. "I felt that the ability to non-invasively target Internet users was essential for conducting business on the Internet, which is how IP Intelligence came into being. I think the importance of this type of technology for a wide variety of Internet applications can be attested to by the number of 'me too' technologies that have sprung up since we first founded Digital Envoy in 1999."

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:15 pm
by Eric
If it's false :

Cool 8)

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If it's true :

If Google and other big compagnies have put a lot of patent around the world (when it's possible), geo location file is same than mp3 : you can't give it for free and put it on torrent to give it.
Customer from these countries should not download files and use them else admin must pay a licence for each user at these big compagnies.

GPL licence is not a real licence for this database or only in some lost country.

Each webmaster must forbid the use at people from these country.

Hostip is an US society then must pay to use these kind of files.

If you add that some governements and freedom association forbid the use of this kind of file in their countries ...
Wait to have soon some men in black in your house to ask you some life time and some money.

:?

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it's theoric because I don't know the law.
Someone can give an answer about that ?
Can I use these file without to be illegal ?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:30 pm
by Eric
Patents are about :

Digital Envoy (http://www.digitalenvoy.net) has multiple applications across a variety of vertical industry segments. Leading enterprises, networks, websites and application providers are already utilizing IP Intelligence in a number of ways including:

Advertising – geo-target advertising and improve ROI by increasing the relevance of online ads;

Analytics – improve the effectiveness of web analytics solutions with the introduction of geo-analytical capabilities that allow customer data to be viewed and acted upon in a new light;

Fraud Prevention – improve the value and marketability of risk management, fraud prevention and authentication solutions by introducing new geography-based user identification and authentication parameters that can thwart fraud in real time;

Digital Rights Management - recapture revenue lost to pirated digital goods and services by permitting and restricting access based on the geographic location online audiences;

Content Customization – improve the effectiveness of online operations or business by serving language- and currency-specific content;

Network Intelligence - simplify network management and reduce bandwidth costs by automatically identifying and routing users based on geographic server proximity;

Security – add another security checkpoint to firewalls or identity management solutions to improve security for the enterprise or home user.

Other patents

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:38 pm
by Teo
QUOVA has put others patents on geolocation by IP.

All North America is under patents.
Maybe other countries too.

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http://www.quova.com/company/comp_news_ ... .php?ID=79

QUOVA SECURES MAJOR TECHNOLOGY PATENT
Comprehensive Endorsement of Innovative Technology Proven Vital to Internet Business

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. - January 28, 2004 - Quova, Inc., the world’s leading provider and developer of Web geography services and technologies, announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Quova a comprehensive patent on its IP geolocation technology. Patent #6,684,250 validates 135 specific claims, including many algorithms, processes and system components that are unique to Quova's approach and some core ideas that are central to the concept of IP geolocation.

“These technologies and ideas form the framework of Quova’s IP mapping technology, on which all of Quova’s products and services are based. Winning this patent is a tremendously rewarding endorsement of our technical leadership in this industry,” said Tom Miltonberger, Quova’s SVP of Products. “We’re continuing to innovate and develop new technologies and processes to build on what we’ve accomplished, and we intend to remain at the forefront of creating new and even more powerful geolocation solutions.”

The comprehensive patent constitutes U.S. government endorsement of the unique and proprietary nature of Quova’s geolocation technology, which instantly determines the geographic location of a web site visitor, from nation down to city level. By bringing real-world geography to the Internet, Quova’s innovative technology and services create a new, high-performance e-business model enabling targeted online marketing, fraud detection, delivery of online digital content, regulatory compliance and enhanced network security.

“We’re proud to have secured the most extensive technology patent in the history of our industry,” said Marie Alexander, president and CEO of Quova. “We certainly believe that Quova’s leadership and dominance in the market will continue to be built on execution - the quality and richness of our data and our responsiveness to our customers and partners - but the issuance of this patent is a deeply gratifying validation of the uniqueness and power of our approach.”

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 1:27 pm
by Teo
Before to say that you put a GPL licence on your files, have you study the current market about software patents from all the main countries ?

It's not because you have a good idea, that it's legal to distribute it if a lot of big societies worked on it since 6 years.

Some lawers can answer us about that ?

Patent record

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:47 pm
by Teo
Here the full patent text from Quova :

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pars ... /6,684,250

You can see that you can use and that you can't.

You can see that they have put a lot of main ideas inside.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:52 pm
by Teo
If you read the text of patent, you learn how to build or optimize your own files that you can use in other countries with no patent.

:lol:

Thanks Quova for all these explains.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:13 pm
by Teo
When you read more the Quova system, you can see that you have a lot of average data calculated that are maybe false and that they don't know what is a proxy (like Aol) or other special systems.

The Quova database is bigger, but not so powefull than basic databases.
They have more good answers, but more bads too.

Patenting WHOIS / arin lookups

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:14 pm
by bfolkens
Hostip has always operated on the assumption that a community will provide the most accurate information over time. There are always "mistakes" or "false corrections" - but they are quickly corrected when the next user sees an incorrect representation of his IP address.

I'm not a patent attorney, but I'm sure you cannot patent a simple lookup of a whois record or a traceroute. Patents are designed to protect very detailed intellectual property, and Hostip does not infringe on those details (read: lookups, storage, presentation, and all the other things in the patent document) I would be equally impressed if someone tried to patent the democratic correction system that hostip employs. Especially considering it has been "in public use" for years now. One reason patents stay "pending" for so long is because there is a very thorough search to make sure previous ideas and processes have not been patented or "in public use."

Guaranteed, this database is centered on community involvement - it's very difficult, if not impossible to secure a patent against something that generic and broad. Hostip would be more threatened by a commercial provider *copying* the database and reselling it as a commercial database. (Something we need help from the community to spot anyway)

So to answer the questions above:

Q: Is using hostip's database legal?
A: Yes, as long as you do not copy and resell the database.

Q: Does hostip infringe upon any patents?
A: No, unless someone filed a patent against public, distributed, corrections to a geolocation database *before* hostip.info was realized (recorded courtesy of the internet archive).

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:08 am
by hostip
I'll give you some examples:

Google has a patent for detecting duplicate documents:

http://www.seoguide.org/google-patent-6658423.htm

http://www.seoguide.org/google-patent-6615209.htm

Does that mean that Yahoo, MSN, Ask, and other search engines can't detect if pages are similar and you will get results full of duplicate documents when you conduct a search?

Obviously they use duplicate content detection as well. Patents protect very specific parts of technology not general ideas that are obvious to the public. I'm not an attorney either, but you can see that many other GEO ip address companies exist (maxmind, ip2location, activetarget.com and others) Putting out a patent doesn't automatically mean that all similar services have to be shut down! Especially open source projects like ours where many outside contributions have been given.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:00 am
by Teo
(patents are only for american providers and users)

I'm not ok by that,

Industrial patent can be put only if nothing use it before.
Software patent can be use by the first who put it.

The big story of the software patent was about someone who has put it on Linux there are some years. He has removed it only by the community cry.

Theses patents protect :
- how to extract geo data
- how to provide geo data
- how to use the geo data

You have retrieve an existing database, but to provide services with these files (download, tools, ....) you are under the patents.

All your customer, tools and downloader users too because you are in States.

It's forbidden too to provide on torrent something under patent too because you should limit the access of these kind of contents.

You will not have these problems (or lot less) if you move your servers outside USA.
Problems will be only for USA users after.

For examples :
- an german site can't download these files but can install them
- this german site can't use your tools but can build tools to provide these services to his customers.
- an US people can't use your and this german site. Other people can use only the german site not yours.

Yes it's strange, but it's why you have so many people who cry about software patents.

If today the patents owners say nothing, tomorrow what will they do ?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:09 am
by Teo
I can add that it's not specific at hostip database, you have the same problems with all other database providers (geoip, ....) if they have not paid (to download) some licences at the patent owners and if you don't pay (to use) the licences yourself at the owner

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:36 am
by bfolkens
Teo wrote:I can add that it's not specific at hostip database, you have the same problems with all other database providers (geoip, ....) if they have not paid (to download) some licences at the patent owners and if you don't pay (to use) the licences yourself at the owner


Yes, of course, but that assumes hostip uses their technology/methodology, which we aren't.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:57 am
by bfolkens
Teo wrote:(patents are only for american providers and users)

I'm not ok by that,

Industrial patent can be put only if nothing use it before.
Software patent can be use by the first who put it.

The big story of the software patent was about someone who has put it on Linux there are some years. He has removed it only by the community cry.

Theses patents protect :
- how to extract geo data
- how to provide geo data
- how to use the geo data

You have retrieve an existing database, but to provide services with these files (download, tools, ....) you are under the patents.

All your customer, tools and downloader users too because you are in States.

It's forbidden too to provide on torrent something under patent too because you should limit the access of these kind of contents.

You will not have these problems (or lot less) if you move your servers outside USA.
Problems will be only for USA users after.

For examples :
- an german site can't download these files but can install them
- this german site can't use your tools but can build tools to provide these services to his customers.
- an US people can't use your and this german site. Other people can use only the german site not yours.

Yes it's strange, but it's why you have so many people who cry about software patents.

If today the patents owners say nothing, tomorrow what will they do ?


I think you might be confusing copyrights and patents.

A copyright would protect copies/downloads of material and the redistribution of that "work." For example, you couldn't download the files at this site, either through SVN or Torrent, or the database mirrors, and then repackage and redistribute that exact data for sale (says the GPL) (and I'm summarizing the GPL too here for simplicity in example). Other copyrights issue different restrictions, such as the US recording industry's SR (sound recording) and PR (phonorecord) copyrights, which limit an individual's ability to copy any song or majority of any song directly (SR) from the original, published copy, or the entire CD itself (PR) in its entirety.

Patents protect ideas. A good example of this is how Autodesk was once faced with paying $25,000 to Cadtrak for licensing of the XOR drawing operation (sorry for non-programmers, but this is a great example). The XOR drawing idea involved using XOR logic to draw and erase the sprite in a graphic environment (like a mouse cursor). AFAIK Autodesk won the case because they proved that the XOR sprite refresh trick had been in "general use" for a while by programmers that were unrelated to Cadtrack before Cadtrack filed for the patent.

What is extremely sad about the state of IP law in the US is that most companies now have to file patents to protect themselves. i.e., Oracle is notoriously famous for their large portfolio of "defensive" patents - and they've been doing this (or at least saying so) since the mid-90's.

So anyway, software patents, etc - are a very big issue right now - and there are a lot of good resources. If you want to get involved, do everything you can to protect Europe's more liberal stance on it...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:08 am
by Teo
Nope,
the patents are about all the ideas how to use the IP to do geolocation.
(locate users, fraud preventions, geo map, geo log, ....).

If you check the main idea is : you use a database IP-country and you provide infos about that. You don't have a lot of algo to do that (1 sql easy).

If you provide only the datas from the university work (your ip country database) find on internet, it will be maybe ok, but you provide tools that use these databases then the patent ideas is about the use of your databases not directly your database.

But if you use database outiside the university content, and that you have an commercial society around (you put link on the hostip site to go on some pages with google banners), your datas enter in the patents because you win money with this files.