AN OVERBROAD PATENT on managing online distribution based on location - This application from Google seeks to patent the idea of...managing content distribution based on geographic limitations! 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications before they become patents. Follow @askpatents on twitter to help.

QUESTION - Have you seen anything that was published before 12/2/2009 that discusses:

  • Returning a search results query that only shows content which can be distributed in a location selected by the searcher

If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question. We welcome multiple answers from the same individual.

EXTRA CREDIT - A reference to anything that meets all of the criteria to the question above AND ALSO involves publishers reviewing distribution locations of content.

TITLE: Publisher review of proposed geo-targeted content

Summary: [Translated from Legalese into English] a method by which publisher can review proposed geo-targeted content items to determine whether the content items include any offensive material, whether the content items are composed in an acceptable format, or whether the content items should be approved or disapproved for any other reason.

  • Publication Number: US20130138487 A1
  • Application Number: US 13/513,325
  • Assignee: Google
  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior Art predating 12/2/2009
  • Open for Challenge at USPTO: Open through 11/26/2013

Claim 1 requires each and every step below:

A computer-implemented method for managing content distribution, the method comprising:

  1. Receiving content information regarding content items for distribution and how the content items are to be distributed;

  2. Receiving publication information regarding locations where content items are to be distributed;

  3. Updating, by at least one processor based on the received content information and publication information, a searchable data structure that relates the content information and the publisher information;

  4. Receiving a search query regarding content items that are related to at least one location where content is to be distributed;

  5. Retrieving, by at least one processor from the data structure, content information responsive to the search query; and

  6. Transmitting content information responsive to the search query to enable review of the content information.

In English this means:

A method of managing content distribution, comprising:

  1. Receiving information on where and how content is to be distributed

  2. Updating a searchable data structure that relates content to publisher information

  3. Receiving a search query for content items which can be distributed in a location

  4. Retrieving information about the content which can be distributed in that location

  5. Transmitting information about that content (presumably to a publisher) for review

Good prior art would be evidence of a system that did each and every one of these steps prior to 12/2/2009

You're probably aware of ten pieces of art that meet this criteria already... separately, the applicant is claiming publishers reviewing distribution locations of content.

"A process for managing content distribution from the Applicant"

What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ.

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post your own request for prior art on other questionable US Patent Applications.

2 Answers 2


This sounds like it would have been done during the dot-com era, when there was a boom in multinational e-commerce websites. It's really hard to be specific about it though.

What I'm thinking of is an e-commerce site which guesses the user's location by their IP address or a Web browser setting, and when they land on the generic front page, automatically redirects them to a page customised for their country. Such customisations would include translations into the local language and conversions of prices into local currency, and sometimes differences in the variety of products offered.

Google does that sort of thing to set the language of their front page today. Did they do that before 2009? Yes - I moved to Finland in 2006 without learning Finnish first, and one of the first things I was confronted with was Google in Finnish - going to http://google.com/ would redirect me automatically to http://google.fi/, which not only provided all Google content in Finnish, but preferred Finnish-language sites for search results. To get Google in English, I had to visit http://google.co.uk/ - they have since added a cookie-based language preference option for that.


I think that this article may be a good start.

Couldn't find a document backing it up but the post is from 9/18/07 and clearly reads:

Sprint and Microsoft Debut Location-Aware Local Search

...The GPS location-aware that's going to automatically figure out what city you mean when you're searching for "Sushi Restaurants" isn't actual GPS—it's cellphone tower-based triangulation—but that's more than enough to figure out what city you're in. They're also introducing Tellme by Mobile, which is a voice interface to local searches, but since it's not a native Windows Mobile app, it may be slightly less stable and/or pleasing to use than the Live Search.

And the publication on the Microsoft site:

With the enhanced mobile search service launching today, Sprint customers can now:

Use Sprint’s built-in GPS capabilities to automatically find local businesses and listings nearby quickly and easily without needing to manually enter location information. The new GPS-enabled search allows customers to give permission to let their phone automatically identify their location to return nearby business search results, such as the closest gas station, pizza place or movie theater – all by simply typing in or, on select phones, speaking the name or category of business for which they are searching.

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