The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just awarded Google a patent for using location in an advertising system -- "which," according to VentureBeat, "is the emerging business model for most
consumer-facing location startups today." Filed six years ago, the industry blog describes the patent as "fairly broad," as it "covers using location for targeting, setting a minimum price bid for an
ad, offering performance analytics, and modifying the content of an ad."
Along many of its rivals, location-based search and advertising has become a top priority for Google. How this development will impact Google's rivals, however, is still unclear. "It's standard for large companies to file patents on technology they have developed as a defensive practice, rather than as a tool for pressuring other companies to desist or pay license fees," notes VentureBeat.