In 2011 the Apple led Rockstar Consortium, based in Plano Texas, paid $4.5 billion ($2.6 billion of which came from Apple) to outbid a Google-backed group for a cache of Nortel patents for serving targeted advertisements based on search arguments and user information using an associative search engine. Rockstar, which includes tech heavyweights Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony and Ericsson, then leveraged the properties against Google and seven Android handset makers in an October 2013 suit filed in Eastern District of Texas.
According to an article recently published by Business Insider, search advertising isn’t growing as fast as it used to. In fact it hasn’t grown this slowly since six years ago. The Web is slowly becoming irrelevant thanks to mobile. This year mobile users surpassed desktop users. Increasingly, mobile users prefer to connect to the internet via apps rather than the mobile web. The world is moving away from desktop computers. As the world does this, web usage is growing more slowly. As overall web growth slows web search slows and so do the targeted advertising channels. The internet searches that actually make more money are the searches people do before they are about to buy something online. These commercial searches make up about 20% of total searches. Those searches are where the ads are. There is a growing trend among consumers to skip search engines altogether, and to just go ahead and search for the product they would like to buy on a shopping application.
In that regard, the Maass patents, being the subject of this post, may become a valuable asset to own by the parties involved in the law suit as they cover systems and methods more relevant to today’s technology, whereas Rockstar’s claims only cover a very limited and outdated business method. For Rockstar, the Maass patents would be great ammunition to reinforce the Nortel patents against Google. For Google, on the other hand, the ability to defend against Rockstar’s patents or to counter their claims, or better yet Maass’ patents, will be a great asset for all parties involved as a group to own and to settle all ongoing disputes.
Comparison between Rockstar’s Patents No’s 6,098,065; 7,236,969; 7,469,245; 7,672,970; 7,895,178; 7,895,183 and 7,933,883 being part of the Complaint for Patent Infringement filed by Rockstar Consortium against Google Inc., and the Maass’ Patents No’s 8,533,097; 8,655,771; and continuation applications 14/080,610; 14/281,070 and other pending applications.
1. Rockstar’s patents will begin to expire on February 13, 2017. Maass’ patents will expire on July 27, 2025 + 941 days of patent term adjustment or February 23, 2028 + any additional patent term adjustment resulting from a petition filed with the USPTO on October 7, 2013.
2. Rockstar’s claimed damages before Oct. 2007 may be time barred as per Statute of limitations.
3. Rockstar’s claimed damages prior to the purchase of the patents from Nortel in 2011 may be disallowed. Maass’ damages may be retroactive to Nov. 16, 2006 the date of the first patent publication.
4. Rockstar’s Patent No. 6,098,065 which is the broadest of all 7 patents is limited to receiving information from a user and providing the search results to the user, it does not claim that the user’s data processing device sends, receives or processes any data, therefore limited to the extent of an access provider equipment site (Fig. 2). Claimed methods on the other subject patents end at a data processing device (a “computer”). Maass’ systems and methods and specification claim and/or specify the integration of cell phones, mobile devices and computers therefore much broader than Rockstar’s claims.
5. Rockstar’s patents or specification do not claim a system or a data processing device or means for generating or sending from the device itself or receiving at the device itself or processing by the device itself any data, the specification only mentions a computer but the computer is not claimed in the subject Patents (a computer was claimed as a data processing device and rejected in its entirety under application No. 20130218863 published in Aug 22, 2014 by the USPTO, the same rejection cites prior art that cover features of the methods claimed on the subject patents which may render some of the previously allowed claims invalid). Maass’ patents and specification claim and/or specify a system and method and a data processing device for generating and sending from the device or receiving by the device or processing by the device data, including in addition to a computer a mobile or handheld input device (Cell phones and tablets).
6. Rockstar’s patents and specification claim and specify the user device being connected directly to the advertising machine’s database search engine 16 via a global data network typically the Internet and limited only to a computer to conduct searches (see Fig. 1), not via a cellular network through a BSC, or a third party app server, therefore the claimed system, method and machine leave all cellular searches and third party app searches out of the claimed elements and leave out a lot of relevant user information normally collected and maintained by an Internet access provider (ISP) and third party apps. Maass’ patents and specification do claim and/or specify cellular BSC and third party apps searches.
7. Rockstar’s patents or specification do not claim or specify searches implementing user location via (GPS). Maass’ patents and specification do claim and/or specify searches implementing user location via (GPS).
8. Rockstar’s patents or specification do not claim or specify a cellular, mobile or wireless data system or Network. Maass’ patents and specification do claim and/or specify one or more of cellular, mobile and wireless data systems/networks.
9. Rockstar’s patents or specification do not claim or specify the use of multiple protocols. Maass’ patents and specification do claim and/or specify the use of multiple protocols.
10. Rockstar’s patents or specification do not claim or specify High Volume/High Speed Data transferring. Maass’ patents and specification do claim and/or specify high volume/High Speed data transferring.
11. Rockstar’s patents or specification do not claim or specify flexibility of data formats. Maass’ patents and specification do claim and/or specify flexibility of data formats.
12. Rockstar’s patents and specifications claim and specify that the advertising machine and associated equipment (Server and client computer) as a whole is located at the access provider site (see Fig.2). Today’s Access Providers do not have the search engine or associative search engines in their sites (Google is not an Access Provider). Maass’ patents or specifications do not claim or specify that the search engine or associative search engines (Server and client computers) are necessarily located at the access provider site, but they can be remote.
13. Rockstar’s patents and specification claim and specify that the only communication link is a telephone based internet. Maass’ patents and specifications claim and/or specify a variety of communication links.
14. Rockstar’s patents and specifications claim and specify that device 12 and 14 (data processing device) is only a conventional hardware/software combination supporting communication over the internet (i.e. Computer and browser). Maass’ patents and specification claim and or specify the user device as a multi-use/multi-purpose device with a variety of communication links and applications not limited to a web browser only.
15. Rockstar’s patents and specification claim and specify that search results and advertisements are always on a webpage not on an app. Maass’ patents and specification claim and specify that advertisements can be on a web page or application page in a variety of formats.
16. Rockstar’s patents and specification claim and specify that the access provider site 32 is the sole channel available to the end user for accessing the Internet and that the advertising machine and related equipment is localized at the access provider site. Maass’ patents and specification claim and/or specify various channels for accessing the internet and the advertising server and associated equipment can be remote.
17. Rockstar’s patents and specifications claim and specify an advertising machine (an assemblage of components or parts) but instead it is composed of databases and search engine software the related server and client computer are two separate pieces of equipment and are not deemed to be one machine by today’s tests. Maass’ patents and specification claim and/or specify a system comprising a customer input device, at least one database, and a processing component in communication over a network with said customer input device and said database(s) via a remote host computer system.
18. Rockstar’s patents and specification claim and specify that the generated ads are the result of correlating with user profile and search arguments they do not claim app instructions as in the case of native ads, bid for placement, or real time bidding for advertisements. Maass’ patents and specification claim and/or specify app instructions for Real time bidding advertisements, previous search patterns, location, proximity and other media schemas.
19. Rockstar’s patents claim receiving from the data processing device a response that indicates the selection of an advertisement and based upon the advertisement selection, generate a fee record therefore limiting the generation of a fee record only when a user clicks on the advertisement. Maass’ patents and specifications claim and/or specify transaction brokerage systems including bid for placement and Real time bidding (RTB) via ad exchanges.
20. Maass’ patents and specification augment any prior art by implementing elements not know to the industry until the introduction of smart phones (2007) including the phones themselves and tablets featuring GPS hardware and software, NFC hardware and software and scanning hardware and software used for multiple applications such as shopping applications, payment applications, pricing applications, location based applications, ad targeting applications, electronic coupon applications, electronic document applications and many more.