Taking a look at what gTLDs and patents brands have filed for can give marketers a look at what may be coming up in the digital ecosystem.
You might not think that a gTLD (generic top-level domain) and patents have much in common. But, if you look at which new top-level domains big companies plan to operate and compare them to recent patent filings by the same companies, you might be able to spot trends in digital media.
Take Comcast, for example. Comcast applied for Dot COMCAST and Dot XFINITY, but Time Warner Cable did not apply for any gTLDs. Comcast has also filed 65 percent of its 241-strong patent portfolio in the last three years and recently filed patent applications for inventions like a “recommendation system” and “playlists within a network” or “predictive content caching” and “crowdsourcing supplemental content.” While these are merely titles of a complex patent application, it’s enough data to start to show a pattern of where they might be headed. Comcast knows the cord to traditional cable is being cut. So while they harvest a business model in its final phases, they are preparing for what comes next. They are buying gTLDs that could be used as a distribution channels. They are investing in patentable technology to help consumers use that gTLD platform, or other technology for that matter, when consumers shift from cable based entertainment to internet based entertainment. Time Warner Cable has a portfolio of 281 patents with 170 filed in the last three years, but they’re heavily focused on pictorial communication or television rather than digital data processing or transmission of digital information. Is it that surprising Time Warner needs an exit strategy?
Likewise, Google, which applied for 100 new gTLDs, and Amazon, which applied for 75 new gTLDs, are also expanding their digital patent portfolios. Google has 10,625 patents with nearly half of them issued in the last three years. Amazon has 2,006 issued patents and 1,537 were issued in the last three years.
Recent Google filings include “customizable media channels,” “interfaces to allow video ad serving into a mobile phone application video stream,” “recommending media programs based on media program popularity,” “social aspects of media guides,” “self-service channel marketplace,” and “presenting mobile content based on programming content.” Recent Amazon filings include “providing gift clustering to assist a user in ordering multiple items for a recipient,” “securing content using a wireless authentication factor,” “surface based location determination,” “speech based shopping,” among many others and across a wide range of their services from logistics to the consumer digital experience. Read more