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Geofencing Patent Awarded to Dan Kaufman and Hatch Ventures
Hatch Ventures the location-based service and media company developing mobile apps for smartphones,and it's founder, Dan Kaufman, has been awarded a broad patent for geofencing technology.
The language of the patent details Hatch Venture's intellectual property as the following:
"A method of providing a location-based service, comprising: providing a user interface that enables a user of a portable electronic device to define a geofence at a user-selected distance about a user-selected location, the geofence graphically indicated by an outline on a map displayed in the user interface; determining a current location of the portable electronic device using a location facility of the portable electronic device; passing the current location to an application server that monitors the current location of the portable electronic device with respect to the geofence; and in response to the application server determining that the current location of the portable electronic device is within the geofence, transmitting instructions to the portable electronic device to cause said device to offer a service to the user that is not offered when the user is external to the geofence."
A geofence is just a user-defined virtual perimeter for a geographic area. Geofencing technology is already spurring innovation in the mobile space. Mobile applications and services are fast applying geofencing technology to enable users to send and receive notifications based on their exact whereabouts. This patent, then, would seem to affect a myriad of companies offering geofencing services.
Hatch indicates that its intentions around using its newly awarded patent are more defensive in nature than aggressive in purpose.
"Our strategy with patents is to use them to protect our future business. We look at our patents as a shield to protect against predatory trolls, not a tool to stifle innovation,"
Kaufman also shares that the company is currently working on new consumer features that leverage its geofencing intellectual property.