The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued 10 U.S. patents to TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. during the second quarter of 2014. TCS also received two foreign patents during the quarter.
The 10 U.S. patents describe innovations in messaging, location-based services, GIS/mapping and wireless. They include the following three:
- TCS reported in the first quarter that it was issued a Prepaid Short Messaging Services patent. In the second quarter, TCS received notice that another prepaid patent was issued to the company that will serve as one of the cornerstone patents in a monetization program that TCS is planning to launch later this year. The prepaid market has grown into a multibillion-dollar per year industry, with 86 million prepaid users comprising 27 percent of all U.S. wireless users, according to a J.P. Morgan 2013 market report. The recently issued Prepaid Short Messaging patent (U.S. 8,738,496) is a continuation of earlier TCS prepaid patents, bringing TCS’ prepaid messaging portfolio to eight, with one additional pending. Most prepaid phone systems allow users a prescribed amount of prepaid messaging and wireless call time. The ’496 patent describes techniques for determining if a recipient’s account is sufficiently funded to receive a message. If it is not, the system prevents the delivery of messages until the recipient’s account is sufficiently funded, when follow-on messages will be delivered.
- A geofence defines a virtual spatial boundary for creating triggers when a mobile device either enters or exits that boundary. Geofences are commonly used in child location services to alert parents when a child’s mobile device leaves the boundary of a school or park, or by enterprises to track the location of a mobile workforce or equipment. Establishing a geofence can be complicated, requiring that the user manually draw the boundary on an electronic map. The recently issued TCS patent covering a Method and System for Identifying and Defining Geofences (U.S. 8,731,813) describes techniques to simply and easily create geofences based on real-world objects or places. Using the map/navigation application on a mobile device, the user simply selects the desired location, using its pre-defined boundary to create the geofence.
- Thousands of portable computing platforms have emerged that have the capability of directly connecting to the Internet either through a wireless wide area network (such as cellular network or campus Wi-Fi network) via a front-end built into the device (smartphone, etc.), or, via Bluetooth or other short-range wireless communication, to a wireless proxy device such as a modem or a smartphone. With various low-cost, short-range wireless devices installed in vehicles for navigation or entertainment purposes, it has become increasingly important to provide an easy and efficient method for a motor vehicle manufacturer, parent or other authority to monitor and control access to certain sites when those devices are connected to the Internet. The recently issued Remotely Provisioned Wireless Proxy patent (U.S. 8,712,408) describes techniques to create white lists (allowed URLs) and black lists (disallowed URLs) within a wireless/mobile device acting as a proxy so that access to certain sites can be controlled effectively.
The remaining seven U.S. patents issued in the period are: Integrated, Detachable Ear Bud Device for a Wireless Phone (U.S. 8,688,174); N-Dimensional Affinity Confluencer (U.S. 8,688,087); Login Security with Short Message (U.S. 8,712,453); Intelligent Reverse Geocoding (U.S. 8,731,585); Secure Location Session Manager (U.S. 8,687,511); System and Method for Location Assurance of a Mobile Device (U.S. 8,718,673); and Wireless Network Tour Guide (U.S. 8,744,491).