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Hot-spot developer wins log-in patent

The patent awarded to Nomadix covers a common method for redirecting subscribers to log-in pages when they access public networks.

Wi-Fi hot-spot developer Nomadix announced it landed a patent for redirecting subscribers to log-in pages when they access public networks.

Generally, when a computer user enters a hot spot--public places that give people wireless access--his or her browser is redirected to a home page set up by the service provider or the owner of the location. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week granted a patent to the Westlake Village, Calif.-based company covering that redirection technology.

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IDC analyst Keith Waryas said there are a number of ways to redirect hot-spot users to a home page, but they may not be as convenient or as efficient for consumers. He added that because the , any sort of patent enforcement is likely to have a minimal affect on the revenue of a company.

"Any kind of patent with hot spots will likely have a small impact, because the market is still emerging," Waryas said.

Nomadix said that while it plans to encourage the use of its own software--the Nomadix Software Engine--it isn't seeking legal battles to enforce its patent.

"We're exploring licensing arrangements...Going down the path of legal solutions is not the best way of using our resources," said John DiGiovanni, director of marketing at Nomadix. "The last thing we want to do is create an environment where we are inhibiting the growth of the hot-spot market."

DiGiovanni said the point of making the patent grant known, at least in part, was to let potential customers know Nomadix has been in the market for a number of years and affects innovation in the industry.

The patent was filed with the U.S Patent Office and Trademark in December 1999.