Digital Envoy, an Atlanta, USA company, has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which determines the location of Internet users based solely on their IP addresses.
US Patent number 6,757,740, titled, “Systems and Methods for Determining, Collecting, and Using Geographic Locations of Internet Users,” covers the core methods used to determine the location of Internet users to the city level utilizing IP addresses. Furthermore, this patent claims a priority dating back to 1999 when the patent was first filed, and before any other current geo-location company was in existence.
Geo-location is not thought to be a unique idea, Digital Envoy are keen to protect there, so called “non-invasively” process.
“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.”
Digital Envoy and Google have been a technology partners for several years with Google currently paying US$8,000 a month for its use of the Digital Envoy technology and has offered to increase that amount by 50 percent, Kratz said. Not really reflecting the value Google is getting out of it for their location-based adverts.
There are many other uses for knowing the location of a Internet users, including providing information based on where they are or restricting the material to different areas. The last of this is of particular use to media companies.