Mobile Ads: Hipcricket Owner Augme Buys 5 Patents, 25 Pending Patents For Its Mobile VoIP Strategy

More developments in the world of mobile patents, and mobile advertising, as it happens: mobile marketing company Augme Technologies has purchased five patents covering mobile VoIP and other technologies, and a further 25 related patent applications, which it says it will use to spearhead its move into new services — and the legal defense of existing ones. The move comes as mobile VoIP services continue to grow in prominence thanks to companies like Skype, Twilio and the profusion of smartphone apps that offer internet-based calling services. Separately, Augme is currently in the middle of a patent lawsuit against Millennial Media.

Augme is buying the IP from content distribution company Geos Communications, with the financial terms of the deal undisclosed. The acquisition brings Augme’s IP portfolio up to 14 issued patents and more than 60 pending patents in the U.S. and internationally.

For now, it does not appear that these patents are not the subject of any legal heat — we have contacted Geos to confirm that — but we’ll have to wait and see what happens next. Augme says that it has over 2,000 claims in the telecom, media and Internet space already, and that its IP strategy is to focus on licensing. (It recently inked its first licensing deal, with LucidMedia.) The newly acquired patents will enhance Augme’s IP business model and expand its domestic and international applications.

Augme “remains committed to the vigorous defense of its intellectual property rights,” according to Augme’s CTO Nathaniel Bradley.

On the other side, it looks like the patents will be put to use directly in products. That’s because Augme — like its competitors — is trying to create more enhanced (and therefore potentially more monetizable) mobile marketing services. Specficially, Augme says the IP can help it offer more services within its AD LIFE and AD SERVE mobile marketing/advertising platforms, which already include features like SMS, MMS, 2D/QR codes, mobile websites, advertising networks, social media and branded apps as offerings. Augme retails these services under the brand Hipcricket, which it bought in August 2011 for $44.5 million. It has run some 175,000 campaigns for a client base that includes Macy’s, MillerCoors, Nestle and Clear Channel.

The patents bought today have suitably general-sounding descriptions. Patent 7,606,217 is for a “System and method for routing telephone calls over a voice and data network”. Patent 7,460,480 is for “Dynamically adapting the transmission rate of packets in real-time VoIP communications to the available bandwidth”. Patent 7,676,599 is for a “System and method of binding a client to a server”. Number 7,782,878 covers a “System and method for sharing an IP address”. Finally, 7,957,401 is for a “System and method for using multiple communication protocols in memory limited processors.” The additional applications for patents — seven in the U.S. and 18 international applications — all related to mobile VoIP, the company says.