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Digital Envoy wins geotargeting patent

The technology to pinpoint the location of Web surfers is at the center of a legal spat between the software company and Google.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Digital Envoy a patent for its IP Intelligence technology, the company said Tuesday. The technology pinpoints the physical location of Web surfers down to the city level, based on their Internet Protocol address. Rob Friedman, executive vice president at Digital Envoy, said the software company plans to "vigorously enforce the patent," No. 6,757,740, which carries retroactive rights to 1999 when it was filed.

Atlanta-based Digital Envoy is embroiled in a legal dispute with search leader Google over use of its technology. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google licensed Digital Envoy's IP Intelligence for delivering targeted advertisements on its Web site. Digital Envoy charges that Google, which has countersued, overstepped the bounds of their agreement when the search company used its technology to deliver ads to third-party Web sites.