Even More Local Search Patents

When we wrote last week about Local.com's new local search patent, we pointed out that there were far too many patents being issued in that space. That's only gotten worse this week, with another local search patent awarded to Local.com, this time for ad-supported 411 calls.

Once again, this patent seems to be in direct conflict with an existing patent, one from Jingle Networks.

There's either going to have to be some litigation, or consolidation of businesses or patents between the various players. In the meantime, it's the users and advertisers who will suffer, since the confusion in the marketplace and looming lawsuits will only serve to scare off advertisers and slow the growth of local search.

About the author

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.