In yet another display of shrewd intellectual property strategy, Apple may soon leverage a patent acquired from Xerox to effectively take control of the location-based services market.
According to industry expert Erik Sherman, the patent was originally obtained by Xerox in 2000, before being transferred to Apple two years ago. Now a reissue of the IP asset may spell disaster for competitors such as Google, HTC and Samsung.
The broad scope of the patent language may also bring implications far beyond the mobile device market as well, potentially affecting content providers such as Facebook and Foursquare.
"Given that location-based service is one key to the mobile ambitions of virtually everyone else in the industry, the patent could give Apple control over some hot parts of mobile technology, including location-based innovation in advertising, social networks, flash deals and augmented reality," Sherman explained in his latest CNET column.
Reaffirmed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier in the week, the document could help Apple unlock a windfall of licensing revenue. According to Mac Observer, the fact that the patent predates many of technology's modern applications may give Apple the right to claim credit for a number of location-based services yet to be invented as well.