Wednesday, April 04, 2007

LPO Patent Wars To Start This Year?

With Google's announcement today of the production launch of their free landing page optimization(LPO) product - Website Optimizer - I recalled a conversation I had with a former colleague about Memetrics, an LPO firm out of Australia, in which I was told they had already been issue a patent covering LPO several years ago.

Sure enough, when I did a search for "Memetrics patent" I came up with this 12/06 announcement from them that they have engaged famed Silicon Valley IP Law Firm Fenwick & West to enforce their patent. It reads:

"We have enormous confidence in Fenwick and West's ability to help Memetrics protect our competitive advantages in the marketplace," said Hikaru Phillips, Memetrics CEO. "Seeking patent protection for our technology has always been a key part of our IP strategy," said Phillips. "As the marketplace for multivariate testing heats up, our U.S. and foreign patents become even greater assets in our bid for market leadership and we take our investment in them very seriously."

Memetrics holds a U.S. patent for automated online experimentation. Memetrics U.S. patent number 6,934,748 includes 43 individual claims for defining and conducting experiments and collecting user behavior data. The patent is one of the earliest in its field, and the US Patent Office has relied on it to reject later-filed applications covering related technologies.

My bet is Google has to pay an ongoing 8-figure/year royalty to the end of the decade.


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