Local business finding search engine, Local.com gets to have its local search technology patented to several companies which are part of its LocalConnect Platform. These companies which got the Local.com’s search technology patent licenses include, PremierGuide. Former PremierGuide clients Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. (CNHI), GateHouse Media, Inc., Herald Association, Inc., Intellistrand, LLC and The Telegraph, including over 200 sites owned and operated by these properties. Existing contracts of these companies with Local.com has been revised to reflect the patent licenses.
Local.com’s local search technology has attracted more than 10 million page visitors monthly and is widely used by both consumers and production companies in searching information regarding local businesses and companies. Hence, Local.com deemed it appropriate to have the technology patented so that those wanting to incorporate the local search technology in their companies would have to get a patent license from Local.com first.
This is a pretty smart move on the part of Local.com. Its Local Search Technology which rely heavily on geographical search and indexing of data by location has been delivering the most relevant search results to users. It has been proven that companies who employs Local.com’s local search technology has been pretty successful in delivering relevant local search results to their clients.
So, here’s what the patent claims cover:
local search technology related to identifying location information from web documents,
indexing location information
enabling the information searchable geographically
Search results from Local.com are ranked by search term, LocalRank score and location prominence among other factors. Once the system has ranked search results, it then extracts, matches and indexes web pages and produces web reference where applicable on more than 16 million local businesses listed nationwide on Local.com.
Honestly now, do you really think that the patent license was necessary? Was Local.com just protecting its intellectual property or is it looking into the financial side of things?