The digital signage patents keep on coming …

August 13, 2010 by Dave Haynes

The Marlin Company of Wallingford, CT has been granted a second patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,765,273) for its content solution for the Electronic Communication Station, a digital signage product for workplace communications.

Since 1913 Marlin has been publishing workplace content to help companies communicate critical messages on safety, productivity, teamwork, quality, etc. While Marlin’s roots have been in print publishing, they were early adopters of digital signage for communicating in a workplace setting.

Marlin offers subscribers an easy-to-use digital signage system with industry specific content, produced by Marlin, as well as content management tools. This patented technology allows users to manage, create, edit and distribute content to their employees.

“What matters most to people looking for digital signage is finding the hardware that meets their needs, and having the ability to control the content,” said Frank Kenna III, President of The Marlin Company. “With this 24/7 communications medium, ‘feeding the beast’ is an ongoing challenge. We now have patents covering both the delivery system and the content, which puts us in a strong position to meet the needs of the market.”

I wrote last week about this company announcing a patent for a content distribution method. This new one seems to be a patent on a SaaS system for posting employee communications stuff.

1. A method of distributing electronic media to subscribers for display at remote subscriber locations, said method comprising: (a) creating a plurality of employee communication collections each containing at least one electronic employee communication comprising text and graphics arranged to convey a message from the subscriber pertinent to a subscriber’s business; (b) posting said employee communication collections on a server accessible by the Internet; (c) initiating a subscription service for electronic delivery of a selected employee communication collection to the subscriber; (d) permitting subscriber access to said server over the Internet, said access allowing the subscriber to: (i) view one or more of said selected employee communication collections; and/or (ii) alter the content of said one or more selected employee communication collections by: (1) adding or deleting particular electronic employee communications; (2) modifying the content of one or more of said electronic employee communications; and/or (3) creating a new electronic employee communication for inclusion in said one or more selected employee communication collections; (e) delivering said selected employee communication collection over the Internet to one or more remote subscriber locations designated by the subscriber; and (f) displaying said selected employee communication collection on one or more electronic displays designated by the subscriber, wherein at least one said electronic display comprises a plurality of sections for displaying different electronic employee communications and said step of displaying comprises: simultaneously displaying a subset of said plurality of electronic employee communications on at least one of said one or more electronic displays and displaying news information on a portion of said screen contemporaneously with at least one electronic employee communication: (g) selecting a time duration for display of electronic employee communications on each of said plurality of sections.

Guys who get away with charging $400 an hour as patent attorneys could probably explain, depending on who is paying them, how this is water-tight and a problem for anyone selling into the human resources sector, or flimsy and unenforceable. I sure don’t know, and since I don’t make or sell software, I don’t care all that much.

However, I don’t imagine people spend all the money and time to get these filings done unless they have SOME intentions around them.

Unrelated to patent: the screen layout above – NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

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