Google files patents for contextual wifi advertising

registration patent
Google has filed and published the following patent applications:

(1) Method and system to provide wireless access at a reduced rate:
Methods and system for providing wireless access at a reduced rate. In one embodiment, access to a WAP is provided to an end-user at a rate subsidized by a first entity. The first entity includes advertisements in an end-user view.
which sounds like a Google (secure) proxy that modifies passing-though HTML

(2) Method and system to provide advertisements based on wireless access points:
Methods and system to provide advertisements in a view of an end user accessing a wireless access point. The advertisements are related to the WAP based on a predetermined criterion.
aka contextual advertising for Wifi

(3) Method and system for dynamically modifying the appearance of browser screens on a client device:
In one embodiment, a connection of a client device to a wireless access point is identified. Further, the appearance of a screen presented on the client device is modified to reflect the brand associated with a provider of the wireless access point.
aka the ‘captive portal’

on via

What troubles me here is the way patents are being used:

  • “don’t be evil” version: Google is just filing some good and/or obvious ideas, just so that the next guy won’t do it and sue them for using their own idea.
  • “be blatantly evil” version: Google is filing the patents to make sure no one can do the same thing, to block the market with broad, mediocre patents

Patents are there to create a window of opportunity to develop an original and innovative idea, not to be misused by patent trolls.

I don’t like patents in software (although I’m co-author for one application – everyone has the right to change his opinion). It’s silly to have 20-year patents in a world moving that fast, and the US Patent and Trademark office does not have the best track record at deciding what is original or worth giving a patent to.

3 thoughts on “Google files patents for contextual wifi advertising”

  1. amai, het fotootje rechts boven doet me heel hard denken aan mijn fragments tekeningen, niet die Moskou fragments maar een andere die ook op mijn blog staat.

  2. Next up, I will patent scratching the back of my ear and breathing. Be ready people! I will be so rich after that.

    (this whole patent thing has gone entirely too far)

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