(NASDAQ: LOCM), a leading online local media company, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company patent number 8,359,049, which covers a mobile, pay-per-call Enhanced Directory Assistance method and/or system. This is the company’s third issued Enhanced Directory Assistance (EDA)-related patent that expands its reach into this high-growth area.
Issued on Jan. 22, 2013, the patent describes an Enhanced Directory Assistance method and/or system that uses wireless messaging protocols to receive keyword search data associated with a directory service request and matches it with a relevant advertiser associated with the keyword search. As part of the method, the requester is sent the directory listing for the advertiser and a callback number. Based on the second call to the callback number, it is determined that the directory listing was selected by the requester. This patent extends the company’s family of Enhanced Directory Assistance patents into wireless messaging systems, with potential uses extended to a host of potential mobile applications, such as the company’s Local.com mobile app, which was recently named as a finalist for the
2013 Appy Awards
in the Search Tools category.
“We are pleased to add to our portfolio of intellectual property with this important mobile-focused enhanced directory assistance patent,” said Heath Clarke, Local Corporation chairman and chief executive officer. “With the mobile ad industry continuing to show strong growth, we believe this latest patent positions us well for leadership in this sector as we continue to build out and expand our mobile products. We look forward to leveraging this patent to monetize the mobile advertising market going forward.”
EDA pay-per-call ad revenue is intended to provide additional revenue for carriers. The patent is a continuation of two patents previously issued to the company. The company believes that the patent may cover numerous pay-per-call EDA inquiry methods, such as text and the latest voice command search integrations offered on many of today’s smartphones, as well as traditional voice-based EDA inquiries. According to BIA/Kelsey, the U.S. mobile advertising market continues to grow and is expected to reach $4.2 billion this year.