In what would appear to be a huge coup for the company, digital comic and eBook publisher Wowio has been issued a Notice of Allowance for a group of 32 claims covering a range of ad-supported eBook concepts and implementations. According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, a Notice of Allowance indicates that "it appears that the applicant is entitled to a patent under the law".
Just as Digital Comic and eBook publishing implementation and discussion is heating up on a number of fronts, this development is sure to be a subject of analysis and controversy as details of the patents emerge.
WOWIO, Inc., an established market leader with an online destination (www.wowio.com) providing access to rich digital media content and eBooks, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for a broad patent application covering a variety of methods that allow for the delivery of ads in eBooks, including contextual ads based on the personal information or demographic criteria of the reader.
"WOWIO is the pioneer in ad-supported eBooks. As the mainstream eBook world appears to be migrating towards an ad-supported model, this Notice of Allowance validates WOWIO's innovative and ground breaking ideas and implementations"
"The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has allowed 32 claims contained in of one of WOWIO, Inc.'s most important and broadest patent applications," said Steve Hassid, Registered Patent and Trademark Attorney, Partner at Silicon Edge Law Group LLP, and intellectual property counsel for WOWIO. "WOWIO is the only company I know of that has been able to obtain a Notice of Allowance allowing claims in this evolving and expanding media space."
The eBook market has seen significant growth in recent years with many large companies including Amazon, Apple, Gemstar TV-Guide International, Microsoft and Toshiba, investing heavily in eBook technology. According to Forrester Research, wholesale eBook revenues jumped from $52.4 million in 2008 to $109 million for the first three quarters of 2009, and this year's revenues are expected to top $500 million in the U.S.
"The patent will give WOWIO the right to exclude others from practicing any of the 32 allowed claims in the United States for a period of 20 years from the patent's priority date," added Hassid.
These 32 claims will create additional market barriers to competitors entering or in the advertising-supported eBook market. WOWIO, however, will be able to provide publishers with an opportunity to increase revenue streams by working directly with advertisers and begin to adapt advertising-subsidized pricing models.
"WOWIO is the pioneer in ad-supported eBooks. As the mainstream eBook world appears to be migrating towards an ad-supported model, this Notice of Allowance validates WOWIO's innovative and ground breaking ideas and implementations," said Brian Altounian, CEO and President of WOWIO. "Before today, we were watching the big players in the eBook field fight amongst themselves to determine the winning revenue model. We believe that our vision for the future of the digital distribution of all media sets us apart from the various players in the field and now we are creating a patent portfolio to support that vision."