[OSM-talk] [Fwd: [Geowanking] Geographic Search Patented]

David Earl david at frankieandshadow.com
Tue Jul 3 14:57:03 BST 2007

On 03/07/2007 14:20, Martijn van Oosterhout wrote:
> Remember, the patent is for the entire process, you don't infringe
> just by doing some little part of it (disclaimer: I havn't read the
> actual claims, remember the abstract is often misleading).

Not quite true: you infringe a patent if you infringe any one of its 
claims. You can do anything from the description if it isn't claimed 
(this is quite common, because they would have tried to claim something 
based on some part of the description but that particular claim got 
zapped by the examiner before it issued, e.g. on the basis of prior art).

In this case though claim 1 and the abstract are actually quite close to 
each other. They seem to have got it past the examiner pretty unscathed.

What they are doing is crawling web pages, pattern matching for 
addresses, phone numbers (which they can relate to a location using area 
codes) postcodes etc. and then returning search engine results 
prioritised on proximity of between the searcher and the location 
they've determined for the web site (or parts of it).

While claim 1 is pretty general (as is usually the case), dependent 
claims cover things like relating addresses found on one page to pages 
in the same site without addresses on them, specifically contact pages 
implying a location for the whole site.



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