Winksite, a little known social mobile Web site builder, is suing
Facebook and Google and seeking financial reparations over a technology patent related to building social communities for mobile usage.
Wireless Ink Corp., which oversees the Winksite service, filed the complaint in a Manhattan federal court yesterday, claiming that Facebook Mobile and Google Buzz infringe on a patent first filed by Winksite in 2004 and issued to them last October. The suing party is seeking cash compensation, arguing that the two Internet giants knew well in advance of the pending patent.
With 75,000 registered users, Winksite offers a service for developing social sites that are designed specifically with mobile devices in mind.
The particular patent granted to the company--United States Patent No. 7,599,983 "Method, apparatus and system for management of information content for enhanced accessibility over wireless communication networks"--describes a set of features perfectly in line with Winksite's service. But some of the features, like a collaborative community and a data mailbox, might easily be found on the mobile social networks provided by either Facebook or Google.
Neither Facebook nor Google has yet publicly responded to the complaint.
The patent summary is reproduced here:In accordance with one aspect of the invention, information content is managed in a network-based communication system by providing a content management site accessible to a user of the system. The content management site is configured so as to permit the user to enter information in accordance with a specified format comprising a plurality of selectable mobile information channels each corresponding to an information category. The entered information is processed to generate for the user a mobile site comprising information content that is accessible via one or more mobile devices over a wireless network of the system.
By way of example, the content management site and the mobile site may each comprise web sites accessible over the Internet. A given mobile site may be shared by a group of members having a common interest. The mobile site may comprise, for example, a collaborative workspace, a data mailbox, a collaborative community, or other similar element(s). The information content of the mobile site is preferably configured such that a persistent version of the content is accessible via one or more mobile devices over the wireless network.
In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the information content of the mobile site is configured so as to integrate therewith information associated with at least one messaging action, collaboration action, location-based service action, or other wireless networking functionality of the wireless network. The information associated with the wireless networking functionality of the wireless network may be determinable based on one or more parameters associated with one or more of the mobile information channels of the content management site.