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WHERE Awarded Geofence Patent Covering Mobile Advertising and Mobile Commerce

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Boston, MA -- WHERE, Inc., North America’s leading location media company, today announced that it was awarded Patent No. 7,848,765 by the United States Patent Office on December 7th, 2010. This patent, WHERE’s second in as many months, safeguards the company’s technology advances related to the method and system for the use of geofences in the delivery of applications, content and mobile coupons.

This patent gives WHERE wide legal protection in the burgeoning space of location based services. The technology will improve the relevancy of WHERE’s Recommendation Engine, ensuring that consumers receive content and coupons that are meaningful, and are delivered where and when they want them. It will also help advertisers on the rapidly growing WHERE Ads network best deliver ads and coupons to nearby consumers who have expressed interest in their products.

“Mobile commerce is driven by proximity. Geofencing is the most effective method of location targeting and is paramount in creating relevancy in location-based advertising. Consequently, the award of this patent combined with our core technology, places WHERE in an industry leading position and furthers the distance between our competitors and us,” said Walt Doyle, CEO of WHERE, Inc.

"This is very significant patent and win for Where," said Greg Sterling, Senior Analyst, Opus Research. "Geofencing and location-based advertising are among the most strategic opportunities in what will become a huge mobile market."

Doyle continued stating, “We filed for this patent over 5 years ago – it is an important win for us as it protects core elements of our business, by improving the local discovery experience for consumers and targeting capabilities for advertisers on our WHERE Ads network. This award moves us closer to our goal of owning the “pre check-in” space as we leverage this technology to help users discover their next favorite place.”

About Patent No. 7,848,765

The patent relates to a method of providing a location-based service, comprising: providing a user interface that enables a user of a portable electronic device to define a geofence at a user-selected distance about a user-selected location, the geofence graphically indicated by an outline on a map displayed in the user interface; determining a current location of the portable electronic device using a location facility of the portable electronic device; passing the current location to an application server that monitors the current location of the portable electronic device with respect to the geofence; and in response to the application server determining that the current location of the portable electronic device is within the geofence, transmitting instructions to the portable electronic device to cause said device to offer a service to the user that is not offered when the user is external to the geofence.

Among other methods and systems, the patent also covers:

  • wherein the geofence is associated with a moving location that is associated with a portable electronic device.
  • wherein the portable electronic device is a mobile phone, and the service offered to the user when within the geofence is differing pricing for telephone calls than when external to the geofence.
  • wherein the service offered to the user when within the geofence is availability of a coupon.
  • wherein the portable electronic device is capable of data communications, and the service offered to the user when within the geofence is differing pricing for transmission or receipt of data than when external to the geofence.

Last month, the company announced the award of Patent No # 7,822,426 for their Auto-Snap™ technology.


With a mobile audience and reach of more than 50 million consumers in North America, WHERE is North America’s largest location media company. The WHERE consumer service helps more than 4 million mobile users discover, save and share local places on their mobile device by recommending the most relevant content and integrating money saving special offers from local merchants. WHERE Ads™ is the company’s hyper-local search and display ad network, delivering unparalleled real-time reach and relevancy for both national brands and local merchants. Underlying both the consumer service and advertising network is a sophisticated relevancy engine that uses location and a variety of contextual inputs to match consumers with relevant places, offers and discounts. WHERE, Inc. is a privately held company based in Boston, MA. For more information please visit

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