"Switchboard Incorporated Files U S Patent Applications WESTBORO Mass June"
Switchboard Incorporated Files U.S. Patent Applications WESTBORO, Mass., June 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Switchboard Incorporated (Nasdaq: SWBD), leading provider of directory technology and Nearbuy(SM) locally targeted e-marketing solutions, today announced the filing of two patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The applications, entitled Location Encoder and Geographical Comparison System and Method streamline the provision of location-based services across wired and wireless Internet devices, while protecting the privacy of the device users. These technologies augment Switchboard's existing intellectual property portfolio. Switchboard's Location Encoder technology provides location-based services in an extremely efficient manner. Vale Sundaravel, chief technologist for Switchboard's Nearbuy Merchandising group said, "As more and more companies deploy comprehensive location-based services, such as our Find a Product function, across wireless networks, it becomes increasingly crucial that the information be delivered in a highly efficient manner. This technology allows us to make massive amounts of localized information available almost instantaneously to users of a broad range of Internet devices." The Geographical Comparison System and Method allows end-users to enjoy the benefits of location-based services without sacrificing privacy. The technology acts as a liaison between the user and the service by encoding personal information and exact location. The user is able to receive location- specific information without revealing private data. Beginning this fall, the Federal Communications Commission's e911 regulations will require that telecommunications companies track cellular phone calls to within fifty meters. Industry analysts predict that wireless service providers will capitalize on these regulations by offering location- based services, alarming some privacy advocates. "The federal e911 regulations have precipitated a flurry of privacy issues, as well as concerns that consumer wireless devices will be bombarded with unsolicited messages," said Benjamin J. Paul, president of Switchboard's Nearbuy Merchandising Group. "Our Geographical Comparison System and Method addresses these concerns by allowing wireless device users to receive the benefit of location-based services without revealing their precise location." "These two technologies demonstrate Switchboard's ongoing commitment to developing innovative Internet and wireless applications that benefit both consumers and merchants," said Dean Polnerow, president of Switchboard Incorporated. "Securing patent recognition is critical in maintaining our technology leadership role in an extremely competitive market." About Switchboard Incorporated: Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Switchboard Incorporated is a leading provider of directory technology and Nearbuy(SM) solutions -- a tightly integrated suite of products and services promoting local business across a full range of Internet and wireless platforms. Its flagship Web site, CBS Switchboard.com (http://www.switchboard.com) offers a broad range of functions, content and services including yellow and white pages, product searching, and interactive maps and driving directions. Viewed more than 80 million times each month, CBS Switchboard.com showcases Switchboard's superior technology and breadth of directory product offerings. ePresence (Nasdaq: EPRE) and Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIAb) own approximately 38% and 29% of the outstanding shares of Switchboard, respectively. "Switchboard" is a registered trademark, and "Nearbuy", "Deals Nearbuy" and "What's Nearbuy" are service marks of Switchboard Incorporated. "CBS" and the CBS "eye" device are registered trademarks of CBS Broadcasting Inc. This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, and these statements are subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address a variety of subjects including, for example, the economic value and utility of the products and services offered by Switchboard to Switchboard's alliance partners and customers. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: if Switchboard cannot demonstrate the value of its local merchant services, local merchant customers may stop using its services; the attractiveness of Switchboard's services, would diminish if it is not able to license or otherwise collect accurate database information from third-party providers; if Switchboard's wireless information services become subject to significant wireless network service delays, or suffer unanticipated security breaches, their attractiveness to wireless users may be diminished; and if Switchboard is unable to remain an attractive medium for advertising, its revenue will substantially decline. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to Switchboard's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Switchboard's Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-90013) and Switchboard's most recent 10-Q filed May 15, 2001. Contact: Melissa Hamlet for Switchboard, 215-867-8600, ext. 263, email@example.com