Local Corp. says it was granted another local patent. Originally filed in 2007, here’s how the press release describes the patent (8,176,082):
Issued on May 8, 2012, the patent describes a geographical web search system that retrieves an initial webpage with a link to a related second webpage. Geographical or local information from the second webpage is detected and associated with the first webpage in order to create an index of webpages associated with the geographical information.
Here’s the abstract:
A local search engine geographically indexes information for searching by identifying a geocoded web page of a web site and identifying at least one geocodable web page of the web site. The system identifies a geocode contained within content of the geocoded web page of the web site. The geocode indicates a physical location of an entity associated with the web site. The system indexes content of the geocoded web page and content of the geocodable web page. The indexing including associating the geocode contained within content of the geocoded web page to the indexed content of the geocoded web page and the geocodable web page to allow geographical searching of the content of the web pages.
The abstract seems to imply that Local has patented indexing and retrieval of web pages with geocoding. If so that would be quite a sweeping patent. Typically the precise meaning and scope of patents plays out in a litigation context and requires judicial interpretation. It’s often difficult or impossible to evaluate their application before someone litigates.
Local now has a number of apparently broad local search-related patents to its name.