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8/24/2010
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Apple, Google, Nokia Face Mobile Ad Patent Lawsuit

A maker of Internet kiosks claims that it owns the right to deliver personalized ads in public places.

The latest shot in the mobile intellectual property war comes from a Malaysian company called StreetSpace and is aimed at Apple, Google, Nokia, NAVTEQ, Millenial Media, Jumptap, and as many as twenty unnamed defendants.

On Monday, StreetSpace, a maker of Internet kiosks and a subsidiary of wireless hardware company Embedded Wireless Labs, filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google, their respective mobile advertising companies Quattro Wireless and AdMob, and the other companies mentioned above for violating U.S. patent 6,847,969, "Method and System for Providing Personalized Online Services and Advertisements in Public Places."

StreetSpace has been deploying its public Internet terminals, initially known as "Street Linc" and now marketed under the name "Web Station," in and around California and elsewhere since 1999.

In conjunction with its Web Station product, StreetSpace offers Streetpartner, Web-based network management software that allows StreetSpace customers to operate Web Stations remotely.

The service "allows network managers, businesses, and retailers to monitor and analyze users' locations, profiles, and network usage histories, thus enabling them to deliver personalized content (such as targeted advertising and/or location-based services) across the Web Station network," the complaint explains.

StreetSpace believes that the various defendants, with their respective mobile advertising services and mobile devices, are trespassing on its intellectual property.

It's not the only company that feels its IP rights are being trampled. Earlier this month, Oracle sued Google, alleging that the Android operating system infringes upon the Java patents Oracle acquired from Sun.

Apple is suing mobile handset maker HTC, alleging patent infringement, and HTC is countersuing.

In April, HTC signed a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft coverings HTC's Android smartphones.

Nokia sued Apple for patent infringement last October, got countersued, complained to the International Trade Commission (ITC), and then filed a second lawsuit in May.

In January, Kodak sued Apple and RIM claiming the two companies' mobile devices infringed on its camera patents. Apple countersued in April.

In July, patent-holding company NTP sued Apple Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft, and Motorola over its wireless e-mail patents.

Motorola filed an ITC complaint against RIM in January and the two companies reached a patent cross-licensing deal in June.

And that's just a few of the mobile-oriented patent disputes out there.

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