RealTime IT News

Juno Secures Patent for "Offline" Access Model

Ad-backed e-mail company Juno Online Services has been awarded a U.S. patent that covers key components of its offline Internet business model.

Juno said its patent covers "certain fundamental information processing technologies used to enable Juno's subscribers to read and write e-mail and interact with advertisements while they are not connected to Juno's central computers."

The patent covers the operation of a system that displays interactive advertisements or other digital information to a remote user after that user has terminated the Internet access connection. The advertising or other digital information to be shown is downloaded to the user while he or she is connected to an Internet access provider's computers and is then stored on the user's computer for later display.

Juno offers a full range of Internet services, ranging from basic dial-up Internet e-mail, which it provides for free, to full Internet access. All of Juno's service levels use the patented technology.

"Our members often cite our offline model as one of the things they most value," said Charles Ardai, Juno's president and one of the team of inventors responsible for developing the patented technology. "Additionally, the patented offline model gives Juno a substantial competitive advantage over other Internet access providers who have to bear the cost of much longer user connections."

An abstract of Juno's patent (No. 5,809,242) may be found here.