Thursday, January 30, 2014

Facebook latest patents - connectivity.

In 2012, Facebook bought a large patent portfolio from AOL for $550M. Now, we can see some of the results from the new owner. For example, here's five US Patents with the same title:

A couple of days ago, the US PTO office awarded the #1 on the list with a new set of claims. While the original invention was about establishing an alternative connection when setting a broadband link, the latest patent claims a broad concept of a mobile device with two connections. Arguably, the patent covers a smartphone app that first uses a low-bandwidth 3G connection, then switches to Wi-Fi.

1. A method comprising: establishing a first communications connection between a mobile user device and a host, the first communications connection enabling an application on the mobile user device to exchange data; establishing a second communications connection between the mobile user device and the host; enabling, using at least one processor, display of an indication that the second communications connection is established; and enabling the application on the mobile user device to continue to exchange data by way of the second communications connection.
For example, the claim describes a scenario when I start downloading a song on 3G, then switch to Wi-Fi to save mobile bandwidth. Not bad. After 10 years of lawyering, a black pig turns into a white swan.

In system terms, we have a Distribution element that has different Routes. The Control system selects a specific set, based on operating conditions, e.g. failure. Conceptually, this is no different from our favorite 19th century railroad analogy: if the Indians destroy one rail link try to ship your troops via another one. In a more sophisticated shipping system, heavy loads are shipped by sea; light ones by air.

tags: patent, example, distribution, control

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