News Column

"Cooperation in an Application Store Environment" in Patent Application Approval Process

May 22, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors Saari, Arto (Helsinki, FI); Kiljander, Harri (Helsinki, FI), filed on November 1, 2012, was made available online on May 8, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to F-Secure Corporation.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Online portals through which users of mobile electronics can shop among a wide variety of downloadable software are well known and sometimes referred to as over-the-top OTT application store environments, and there are only a select few application stores that are currently quite popular such as for example Apple's AppStore, Google Play, and the Microsoft Windows Store and Marketplace. These software applications (apps) are generally characterized as being relatively small in size, typically on the order of a few or tens of megabytes. The owner/operators of these conventional application stores allow third parties (the individual software/app publishers) to make their software available through the application store. For example, software applications available through such an online software portal/store may be provided by handset/smart phone vendors such as Samsung and Nokia; cellular service providers such as Verizon, Telefonica and China Mobile, and by third parties such as Intel, Facebook and Amazon.com, to name a few. This has generally proven to be mutually beneficial; a wider variety of apps available through a single application store draws in a larger volume of customers, and the third party application developers have access to a pre-existing worldwide distribution platform at little expense. Like brick and mortar retail stores, the application store owner/operator may exercise some quality control over these products provided in its store by third parties and so may check for malware or compatibility with a common operating system or related programs, but it does not appear that these application stores directly alter the content of the applications provided by the third parties.

"Many software applications are now developed for or by cellular service providers (CSP) such as for example Verizon, Telefonica and China Mobile, Internet service providers (ISP) and mobile network operators (MO). These larger corporate entities have attempted to develop their own application stores separate from few popular application portals noted above. The Wholesale Application Community WAC is one joint venture example of this. The reason is that the conventional OTT application store model may in some cases puts at risk their revenue stream from licensed subscription services associated with certain applications, such as for example news feeds or anti-virus services. These efforts to develop separate application stores have not yet found substantial commercial success.

"What is needed in the art is a different model for the application store as portal between the software publishers and the downloading end users, particularly when the application(s) is provided by a CSP, ISP or MO."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "In accordance with one exemplary aspect of these teachings there is a method for network operators to collaborate in promoting an application that is available in an application store. In this aspect the method comprises: publishing by a mediator the application in the application store; at least some of the collaborating network operators promoting the published application; providing the published application to requesting user devices via the application store; and for each of the requesting user devices that are associated with one of the collaborating network operators, re-branding the provided application with configuration information specific for the collaborating network operator that is associated with the respective user device.

"In accordance with another exemplary aspect of these teachings there is a computer readable memory storing a set of executable instructions. In this aspect the set of instructions comprises: code for publishing a software application in an online application store on behalf of a collaboration of network operators; code for providing the published application to requesting user devices via the application store; code for associating at least some of the requesting user devices to individual ones of the network operators of the collaboration; and code for re-branding the provided application with configuration information specific for the network operator of the collaboration with which the respective user device is associated.

"In accordance with a still further exemplary aspect of these teachings there is an apparatus comprising at least one memory storing a set of computer executable instructions, and at least one processor. In this aspect the memory with the set of computer executable instructions is configured with the at least one processor to cause the apparatus to at least: publish a software application in an online application store on behalf of a collaboration of network operators; provide the published application to requesting user devices via the application store; associate at least some of the requesting user devices to individual ones of the network operators of the collaboration; and cause the provided application to be re-branded with configuration information specific for the network operator of the collaboration with which the respective user device is associated. By way of example such an apparatus may be a server operated by the mediator/publisher as will be further detailed in the next section, or one or more components of such a server.

"These and other aspects are detailed more particularly below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:

"FIG. 1 is a schematic overview of an Application (App) Store in which several user devices are shopping for an app that is cooperatively marketed and provided to the users according to these teachings, where different user devices are subscribers to different operators all of which are coalition partners for the cooperative marketing.

"FIG. 2 is a schematic block diagram of certain entities shown at FIG. 1 which are exemplary electronic entities/nodes/devices for practicing embodiments of these teachings.

"FIG. 3 is a conceptual overview of the application store with three different coalition operators and three different user devices downloading the same app which will present to those different users with different operator-specific branding and/or different look and feel according to an exemplary embodiment of these teachings.

"FIG. 4 is a schematic flow diagram illustrating an app first launched at a user device and how the branding for a specific operator becomes associated to the downloaded app.

"FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating features of an example method."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Saari, Arto; Kiljander, Harri. Cooperation in an Application Store Environment. Filed November 1, 2012 and posted May 8, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=746&p=15&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140501.PD.&OS=PD/20140501&RS=PD/20140501

Keywords for this news article include: Software, F-Secure Corporation.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


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Source: Politics & Government Week


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