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Publication numberUS20100088321 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/551,603
Publication dateApr 8, 2010
Filing dateSep 1, 2009
Priority dateDec 31, 2007
Also published asUS9117219, US20090171948
Publication number12551603, 551603, US 2010/0088321 A1, US 2010/088321 A1, US 20100088321 A1, US 20100088321A1, US 2010088321 A1, US 2010088321A1, US-A1-20100088321, US-A1-2010088321, US2010/0088321A1, US2010/088321A1, US20100088321 A1, US20100088321A1, US2010088321 A1, US2010088321A1
InventorsAmiad Solomon, Moshe Koppel
Original AssigneePeer 39 Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and a system for advertising
US 20100088321 A1
Abstract
A method for selecting an advertisement to be presented to a network user. The method comprises identifying a reference to a specific product in a document, reviewing an advertisement database to select an advertisement related to the specific product, and delivering an indication to the advertisement, thereby allowing the advertisement to be presented to a network user accessing the document.
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Claims(41)
1. A method for selecting an advertisement to be presented to a network user, comprising:
a) identifying a reference to a specific product in a document;
b) reviewing an advertisement database to select an advertisement related to said specific product; and
c) delivering an indication to said advertisement, thereby allowing said advertisement to be presented to a network user accessing said document.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein said identifying comprises identifying said reference in a plurality of documents, said b) and c) being performed for each said document.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein said plurality of documents are related to a plurality of publishers.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein said delivering comprises associating between said advertisement and said document.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein said product is a service.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein said advertisement database is based on a hierarchical data model of a plurality of specific products including said specific product.
7. The method of claim 6, wherein said reviewing comprises performing a general-to-specific hierarchical search over said hierarchical data model to find a match in said plurality of specific products to said reference, said advertisement being selected according to said match.
8. The method of claim 6, wherein said hierarchical data model is arranged in a general-to-specific order of at least some of a group consisting of: a manufacturer identifier, a supplier, a family of models, a brand, a trademark™, a model, and a property of a product.
9. The method of claim 1, wherein at least some of the advertisements of said advertisement database are weighted, said advertisement being selected according to said weight.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein said document comprises at least one categorizing attribute, said advertisement being selected according to said at least one categorizing attribute.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein said at least one categorizing attribute is a member of a group consisting of: the content of said document, the publisher of said document, the type of said document, the geolocation of said network user, the user profile of said network user, the business method of the publisher of said document, and the visitors of said document.
12. The method of claim 1, wherein said delivering comprising delivering said advertisement.
13. The method of claim 1, wherein said document is a member of a group consisting of: a forum webpage, a webpage, a video file, an audio file, a text document, a spreadsheet document.
14. The method of claim 1, wherein said delivering comprises a member of a group consisting of: embedding an indirect advertising related to said specific product in said document, displaying said advertisement, activating said advertisement, and playing said advertisement.
15. The method of claim 1, wherein said advertisement comprises an offer to purchase or a promotion to a member of a group consisting of: said specific product, a related product having properties similar to the properties of said specific product, a related product having a market similar to the market of said specific product, an accessory to said specific product, and a complementary product to said specific product.
16. The method of claim 1, wherein said reference comprises a member of a group consisting of: a textual reference, a vocal reference, and a visual reference.
17. The method of claim 1, further comprising identifying a request to access said document before a).
18. The method of claim 1, wherein said identifying comprises identifying a plurality of references to a plurality of specific products in said document, said reviewing comprising reviewing said database to select an advertisement for each said specific product.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein said delivering comprising delivering said advertisements to be presented to said network user.
20. The method of claim 18, further comprising combining said advertisements for creating a combined advertisement before said delivering, said delivering comprising delivering said combined advertisement.
21. The method of claim 1, further comprises adjusting said advertisement according to said document before said delivering.
22. The method of claim 21, wherein said adjusting comprises adjusting said advertisement according to a member of a group consisting of: the content of said document, the publisher of said document, the type of said document, and the visitors of said document.
23. A system for delivering an advertisement to be presented to a network user, comprising:
a receiving module configured for reviewing a document and identifying a reference to a specific product therein;
an analysis unit configured for selecting an advertisement related to said specific product from a database hosting a plurality of advertisements; and
an output unit for delivering an indication of said selected advertisement, thereby allowing said selected advertisement to be presented to a network user accessing said document.
24. A system for advertising a specific product, comprising:
a mapping module for mapping a plurality of documents each according to a reference to a specific product therein;
a matching module configured for receiving an advertisement related to one of said specific product and matching said advertisement with at least one of said plurality of documents having a reference to said specific product; and
an output module configured for delivering an indication of said advertisement, thereby allowing said advertisement to be presented to a network user accessing said matched at least one document.
25. The system of claim 24, wherein said plurality of documents are related to a plurality of publishers.
26. A method for advertising a product, comprising:
managing a list of a plurality of documents, each said document being indexed according to an internal product reference;
receiving a request for advertising a promoted product;
reviewing said list to select at least one of said plurality of documents having an internal product reference related to said promoted product; and
delivering an indication for an advertisement to said promoted product, thereby allowing said advertisement to be presented to a network user accessing said selected at least one document.
27. The method of claim 26, wherein said plurality of documents are related to a plurality of publishers.
28. The method of claim 26, wherein said product is a service.
29. The method of claim 26, wherein said at least one selected document having at least one categorizing attribute which is related to said internal product reference.
30. The method of claim 29, wherein said at least one categorizing attributes comprises a member of a group consisting of: a characteristic of the referred product, a price, a condition, an advantage of the referred product, a disadvantage of said product.
31. The method of claim 26, wherein said at least one of said plurality of documents are selected according to the position of said internal product reference therein.
32. The method of claim 26, wherein said at least one of said plurality of documents are selected according to the incidence of said internal product reference therein.
33. The method of claim 26, wherein each said document having a publisher and is indexed according to the relevancy of said publisher to respective said internal product reference.
34. The method of claim 26, wherein said list includes a plurality of connected nodes, each said node comprising a member of a group consisting of: a manufacturer identifier, a supplier, a brand, a trademark™, a model, and a property of a product.
35. The method of claim 34, wherein said plurality of connected nodes are arranged in a general-to-specific hierarchy.
36. The method of claim 34, wherein said document is a member of a group consisting of: a webpage, a video file, an audio file, such as a podcast, a WORD document, a portable document format (PDF), a spread sheet, document, an extensible markup language (XML) page, a hypertext markup language (HTML) page, and a network accessible content file.
37. The method of claim 34, wherein each said document having an advertising cost, said receiving comprises a budget for said advertisement, said reviewing comprises reviewing said list to select at least one of said plurality of documents according to a match between said budget and said an advertising cost.
38. A method for advertising products, comprising:
managing a list of a plurality of documents each said document having a reference to a specific product;
receiving a request for advertising a promoted product from an advertiser;
selecting at least one of said plurality of documents according to a match between said promoted product and said specific products; and
delivering an indication of an advertisement for said promoted product, thereby allowing said advertisement to be displayed to at least one network user accessing said selected at least one document.
39. A method for advertising products, comprising:
arranging a plurality of product indications each to at least one member of a group consisting of: a manufacturer identifier, a supplier, a family of models, a brand, a trademark™, a model, and a property of a product;
associating at least one advertisement with at least some of said plurality of product indications;
identifying at least one of said plurality of product indications in a document; and
delivering at least one advertisement indication according to at least one of said plurality of product indications.
40. The method of claim 39, wherein said plurality of product indications are arranged in a general-to-specific hierarchical order, said identifying comprising searching said plurality of product indications according to said general-to-specific hierarchical order.
41. The method of claim 40, wherein said at least one advertisement indication indicates on an advertisement associated with a more specific product indication than said identified at least one product indication.
Description
    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/347,027 filed Dec. 31, 2008, which claims the benefit of priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Applications Nos. 61/071,707 filed May 14, 2008 and 61/006,221 filed Dec. 31, 2007, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention, in some embodiments thereof, relates to a system and a method for advertising and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to a system and a method for advertising products.
  • [0003]
    Internet based advertising is an important mechanism that enterprises use to communicate with customers. With the introduction of the Internet, new advertising and communication possibilities with customers have been created, which offer the potential of greatly enhanced and more effective advertising techniques for businesses. Online visitors to websites on the Internet may be directed to a company's website in several ways including, for example, paid-for advertisements that link to a merchant's website or links presented in the natural search results presented by a search engine, such as Yahoo!™, MSN™, or Google™ in response to a visitor's language query. Consumers are showing an increasing preference for using the Internet when searching for purchases, as compared to traditional media outlets. These conclusions are supported by the increasing demand for, and proliferation of, high-speed Internet connections throughout the United States and worldwide. As the Internet grows in popularity and felt necessity, the volume of businesses advertising and communicating over the Internet promises to increase in a corresponding manner.
  • [0004]
    In light of this progression, a number of systems and methods have been developed for enhancing the Internet based advertising.
  • [0005]
    For example, U.S. Pat. App. 2007/0244750, published on Oct. 18, 2007 describes a method for selecting targeted advertising, is disclosed including monitoring subscriber event data from a first and a second access subscriber device, calculating a product interest correlation score in a plurality of product categories for the subscriber based on the subscriber event data, reviewing an advertiser database to select an advertisement in the product categories, and selecting a format to deliver the selected advertisement to a third subscriber access device. In another embodiment, a system is disclosed for selecting an advertisement to send to a subscriber, including an internet profiling module that monitors subscriber event data, an internet profiling database for storing and classifying the event data monitored by the internet profiling module, an advertiser index database for storing advertiser detail information, and an intelligent correlation scoring system (ICSS) processor coupled to the internet profiling database, user profile and the advertiser index database.
  • [0006]
    Another example is U.S. Pat. App. 2007/0203807, published on Aug. 30, 2007 that describes a system that searches a shopper's list for specific products that the shopper is planning to buy. For example, suppose a merchant wants to target shoppers that have a particular brand or brands of bathroom tissue in their shopping list. The merchant could have the system display an advertisement to the shopper offering the shopper the brand of bathroom tissue that the shopper has in their list or a house brand for a very low price or even free with an order. If the shopper clicks through on the advertisement, the shopper will enter the merchant's site through a special URL specified by the merchant along with the active shopping list in an attached data packet.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    According to an aspect of some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a method for selecting an advertisement to be presented to a network user. The method comprises a) identifying a reference to a specific product in a document, b) reviewing an advertisement database to select an advertisement related to the specific product, and c) delivering an indication to the advertisement, thereby allowing the advertisement to be presented to a network user accessing the document.
  • [0008]
    Optionally, the identifying comprises identifying the reference in a plurality of documents, the b) and c) being performed for each the document.
  • [0009]
    More optionally, the plurality of documents are related to a plurality of publishers.
  • [0010]
    Optionally, the delivering comprises associating between the advertisement and the document.
  • [0011]
    Optionally, the product is a service.
  • [0012]
    Optionally, the advertisement database is based on a hierarchical data model of a plurality of specific products including the specific product.
  • [0013]
    More optionally, the reviewing comprises performing a general-to-specific hierarchical search over the hierarchical data model to find a match in the plurality of specific products to the reference, the advertisement being selected according to the match.
  • [0014]
    More optionally, the hierarchical data model is arranged in a general-to-specific order of at least some of a group consisting of: a manufacturer identifier, a supplier, a family of models, a brand, a trademark™, a model, and a property of a product.
  • [0015]
    Optionally, at least some of the advertisements of the advertisement database are weighted, the advertisement being selected according to the weight.
  • [0016]
    Optionally, the document comprises at least one categorizing attribute, the advertisement being selected according to the at least one categorizing attribute.
  • [0017]
    More optionally, the at least one categorizing attribute is a member of a group consisting of: the content of the document, the publisher of the document, the type of the document, the geolocation of the network user, the user profile of the network user, the business method of the publisher of the document, and the visitors of the document.
  • [0018]
    Optionally, the delivering comprising delivering the advertisement.
  • [0019]
    Optionally, the document is a member of a group consisting of: a forum webpage, a webpage, a video file, an audio file, a text document, a spreadsheet document.
  • [0020]
    Optionally, the delivering comprises a member of a group consisting of:
  • [0021]
    embedding an indirect advertising related to the specific product in the document, displaying the advertisement, activating the advertisement, and playing the advertisement.
  • [0022]
    Optionally, the advertisement comprises an offer to purchase or a promotion to a member of a group consisting of: the specific product, a related product having properties similar to the properties of the specific product, a related product having a market similar to the market of the specific product, an accessory to the specific product, and a complementary product to the specific product.
  • [0023]
    Optionally, the reference comprises a member of a group consisting of: a textual reference, a vocal reference, and a visual reference.
  • [0024]
    Optionally the method further comprises identifying a request to access the document before a).
  • [0025]
    Optionally, the identifying comprises identifying a plurality of references to a plurality of specific products in the document, the reviewing comprising reviewing the database to select an advertisement for each the specific product.
  • [0026]
    More optionally, the delivering comprising delivering the advertisements to be presented to the network user.
  • [0027]
    Optionally, the method further comprises combining the advertisements for creating a combined advertisement before the delivering, the delivering comprising delivering the combined advertisement.
  • [0028]
    Optionally, the method further comprises adjusting the advertisement according to the document before the delivering.
  • [0029]
    More optionally, the adjusting comprises adjusting the advertisement according to a member of a group consisting of: the content of the document, the publisher of the document, the type of the document, and the visitors of the document.
  • [0030]
    According to an aspect of some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a system for delivering an advertisement to be presented to a network user. The system comprises a receiving module configured for reviewing a document and identifying a reference to a specific product therein, an analysis unit configured for selecting an advertisement related to the specific product from a database hosting a plurality of advertisements, and an output unit for delivering an indication of the selected advertisement, thereby allowing the selected advertisement to be presented to a network user accessing the document.
  • [0031]
    According to an aspect of some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a system for advertising a specific product. The system comprises a mapping module for mapping a plurality of documents each according to a reference to a specific product therein, a matching module configured for receiving an advertisement related to one of the specific product and matching the advertisement with at least one of the plurality of documents having a reference to the specific product, and an output module configured for delivering an indication of the advertisement. This output module allows the advertisement to be presented to a network user accessing the matched at least one document.
  • [0032]
    Optionally, the plurality of documents are related to a plurality of publishers.
  • [0033]
    According to an aspect of some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a method for advertising a product. The method comprises managing a list of a plurality of documents, each the document being indexed according to an internal product reference, receiving a request for advertising a promoted product, reviewing the list to select at least one of the plurality of documents having an internal product reference related to the promoted product, and delivering an indication for an advertisement to the promoted product, thereby allowing the advertisement to be presented to a network user accessing the selected at least one document.
  • [0034]
    Optionally, the plurality of documents are related to a plurality of publishers.
  • [0035]
    Optionally, the product is a service.
  • [0036]
    Optionally, the at least one selected document having at least one categorizing attribute which is related to the internal product reference.
  • [0037]
    More optionally, the at least one categorizing attributes comprises a member of a group consisting of: a characteristic of the referred product, a price, a condition, an advantage of the referred product, a disadvantage of the product.
  • [0038]
    Optionally, the at least one of the plurality of documents are selected according to the position of the internal product reference therein.
  • [0039]
    Optionally, the at least one of the plurality of documents are selected according to the incidence of the internal product reference therein.
  • [0040]
    Optionally, each the document having a publisher and is indexed according to the relevancy of the publisher to respective the internal product reference.
  • [0041]
    Optionally, the list includes a plurality of connected nodes, each the node comprising a member of a group consisting of: a manufacturer identifier, a supplier, a brand, a trademark™, a model, and a property of a product.
  • [0042]
    More optionally, the plurality of connected nodes are arranged in a general-to-specific hierarchy.
  • [0043]
    More optionally, the document is a member of a group consisting of: a webpage, a video file, an audio file, such as a podcast, a WORD document, a portable document format (PDF), a spreadsheet, document, an extensible markup language (XML) page, a hypertext markup language (HTML) page, and a network accessible content file.
  • [0044]
    More optionally, each the document having an advertising cost, the receiving comprises a budget for the advertisement, the reviewing comprises reviewing the list to select at least one of the plurality of documents according to a match between the budget and the an advertising cost.
  • [0045]
    According to an aspect of some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a method for advertising products. The method comprises managing a list of a plurality of documents each the document having a reference to a specific product, receiving a request for advertising a promoted product from an advertiser, selecting at least one of the plurality of documents according to a match between the promoted product and the specific products, and delivering an indication of an advertisement for the promoted product, thereby allowing the advertisement to be displayed to at least one network user accessing the selected at least one document.
  • [0046]
    According to an aspect of some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a method for advertising products. The method comprises arranging a plurality of product indications each to at least one member of a group consisting of: a manufacturer identifier, a supplier, a family of models, a brand, a trademark™, a model, and a property of a product, associating at least one advertisement with at least some of the plurality of product indications, identifying at least one of the plurality of product indications in a document, and delivering at least one advertisement indication according to at least one of the plurality of product indications.
  • [0047]
    Optionally, the plurality of product indications are arranged in a general-to-specific hierarchical order, the identifying comprising searching the plurality of product indications according to the general-to-specific hierarchical order.
  • [0048]
    More optionally, the at least one advertisement indication indicates on an advertisement associated with a more specific product indication than the identified at least one product indication.
  • [0049]
    Unless otherwise defined, all technical and/or scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains. Although methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of embodiments of the invention, exemplary methods and/or materials are described below. In case of conflict, the patent specification, including definitions, will control. In addition, the materials, methods, and examples are illustrative only and are not intended to be necessarily limiting.
  • [0050]
    Implementation of the method and/or system of embodiments of the invention can involve performing or completing selected tasks manually, automatically, or a combination thereof. Moreover, according to actual instrumentation and equipment of embodiments of the method and/or system of the invention, several selected tasks could be implemented by hardware, by software or by firmware or by a combination thereof using an operating system.
  • [0051]
    For example, hardware for performing selected tasks according to embodiments of the invention could be implemented as a chip or a circuit. As software, selected tasks according to embodiments of the invention could be implemented as a plurality of software instructions being executed by a computer using any suitable operating system. In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, one or more tasks according to exemplary embodiments of method and/or system as described herein are performed by a data processor, such as a computing platform for executing a plurality of instructions. Optionally, the data processor includes a volatile memory for storing instructions and/or data and/or a non-volatile storage, for example, a magnetic hard-disk and/or removable media, for storing instructions and/or data. Optionally, a network connection is provided as well. A display and/or a user input device such as a keyboard or mouse are optionally provided as well.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0052]
    Some embodiments of the invention are herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of embodiments of the invention. In this regard, the description taken with the drawings makes apparent to those skilled in the art how embodiments of the invention may be practiced.
  • [0053]
    In the drawings:
  • [0054]
    FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of system for advertising a product, according to some embodiments of the present invention;
  • [0055]
    FIG. 2 is a flowchart of a method for advertising a product, according to some embodiments of the present invention;
  • [0056]
    FIG. 3 is a flowchart of a method for selecting an advertisement to be displayed to a network user, according to some embodiments of the present invention;
  • [0057]
    FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of the hierarchy of a dataset that is reviewed for selecting an advertisement, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0058]
    FIG. 5 is another schematic illustration of the system of FIG. 1, according to some embodiment of the present invention; and
  • [0059]
    FIGS. 6 and 7 are respectively a clean image and an image with schematic illustrations of ranks and analyzed words, both of an exemplary webpage, according to some embodiments of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • [0060]
    The present invention, in some embodiments thereof, relates to a system and a method for advertising and, more particularly, but not exclusively, to a system and a method for advertising products.
  • [0061]
    According to some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a system and a method for selecting an advertisement to be presented to a network user. The method comprises identifying a reference to a specific product or a service in a document, such as a webpage, reviewing an advertisement database, a list, or an index that maps advertisements according to products in order to select an advertisement which is related to the specific product. An indication of the selected advertisement is delivered to the ad server of the document and/or to the hosting server of the document, allowing the presentation of the selected advertisement to network users that access the document. In such a manner, a website, such as a forum that refers to a specific product can be used as an advertising platform to an offer and/or a promotion to the specific product or to related products, such as accessories, complementary products, and products with similar market and/or properties. The document, an indication to the association between the advertisement and the document is hosted in order to allow the presentation of the advertisement to the following network users.
  • [0062]
    According to some embodiments of the present invention there is provided a system and a method for advertising a product or a service. In such an embodiment, the method comprises managing an index or a list of a plurality of documents, such as webpages, each mapped according to an internal reference to a specific product, such as a textual, visual, and/or audible reference. The method further includes receiving an advertisement or a request for an advertisement for an advertised product and reviewing the list to select one or more of the managed documents that refer to a specific product that is related to the advertised product. After the one or more managed documents have been selected, the advertisement or an indication thereto is delivered, optionally to an advertisement server or to the server that hosts the one or more managed documents. The delivery allows the presenting of the advertisement to network users that access the one or more documents. The management of such a list of documents can be used to define a bundle of documents that refer to a specific product without having information about the network users that visit these documents and/or about the publishers, for example the websites, that link to and/or associated with these documents. In such a manner, an advertising space in a bundle of documents, such as forum and social network webpages, can be allocated for advertising a product that is related to the reference in these documents even if the publishers of these documents are not associated with the related product and/or did not identified their documents as suitable for advertising such related products. For example, a social network website that hosts a personal webpage with several paragraphs that refer to a specific product, such as iPod Nano™ may be selected by the aforementioned method for advertising related products. The aforementioned system allows identifying such a personal webpage as a member of a bundle of documents that refer to iPod Nano™. The bundle may include webpages that also refer to iPod Nano™ from other publishers, such as webpages of various forums and of technical experts. The bundle allows an advertiser that want to offer for sell or to promote the iPod Nano™ to associate an advertisement with this webpages. In such a manner, a network user that visits one of these webpages, for example the aforementioned personal webpage, for instance after being referred thereto by a search engine, will be presented with the advertisement of the advertiser while reading references related to the iPod Nano™. It should be noted that an advertisement for complementary products, such as an iPod case, accessories, such as earphones, alternative products, such as Creative Zen™ or any other media player, and/or any product that has been identified as having the same market as the iPod Nano™ may be associate with the members of the bundle.
  • [0063]
    Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not necessarily limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components and/or methods set forth in the following description and/or illustrated in the drawings and/or the Examples. The invention is capable of other embodiments or of being practiced or carried out in various ways.
  • [0064]
    Reference is now made to FIG. 1, which is a schematic illustration of system 100 for advertising a product, according to some embodiments of the present invention. The system 100 comprises a mapping module 101 for creating a list of documents 104 that refers to specific products. As used herein a product means a product, a service, a website, a show, and/or a movie, and a document means a webpage, a video file, an audio file, such as a podcast, a WORD document, a portable document format (PDF) document, an excel spreadsheet document, an extensible markup language (XML) page, a hypertext markup language (HTML) page, an Internet page, or any other content file which is accessible via a communication network. Optionally, the documents are related to different publishers. As used herein a publisher means a website, a web-based database, or any other entity that supplies advertising services and/or space.
  • [0065]
    The system 100 further comprises a matching module 103 and an output module 102. The system allows matching between an advertisement which is related to a certain product and one or more documents that refer to the product. The matching allows a presentation of the advertisement to network users that access these documents, optionally regardless to the publisher of the documents and/or the identity of the accessing network users. The system is optionally designed to manage and to update the list of documents, optionally as described below. The list is arranged as a dataset, such as a hierarchical storage structure with constant updateability.
  • [0066]
    Furthermore, the system 100 allows advertisers to purchase space and/or a service for advertising and/or promoting a specific product, a product with properties and/or a market that is similar to the properties and/or the market of the specific product, and accessories or complementary products which are related to the specific product that is delivered to be presented in one or more selected documents that include a reference to the specific product in a bundle of documents which may be referred to the specific product and/or to the related products. For example, an ecommerce store can add an advertisement that advertises or promotes an offer for a gadget in a webpage of a forum that discuss the gadget. As used herein a specific product means one or more products or services which are uniquely identified by an identifier such as a model number, a model label, a family of models, a label, a brand, a trademark, or any combination thereof.
  • [0067]
    Reference is now also made to FIG. 2, which is a flowchart of a method 200 for advertising a product, according to some embodiments of the present invention. As described above and shown at 201, the system 100 creates the list 104. Optionally, the list 104 comprises a list of documents each associated with one or more products that it refers to. Optionally, the documents and/or the products are taken from a predefined list. Optionally, the mapping module 101 uses one or more mapping terminals, such as GNU/Linux computers, for mapping the documents and storing the list. Optionally, the mapping terminal 101 runs one or more crawlers for the mapping. Optionally, in order to ensure that the list is up-to-date, the web crawlers periodically request new copies of one or more of the documents. In such a manner, advertisements can be adjusted according to changes in a forum that discuss new products and updated frequently. For clarity, the web crawler, which is also known as a web spider or web robot, is a program or automated script that browses a network, such as the world wide web (WWW), or any segment thereof in a methodical, automated manner. The crawling of the web crawler is well known and therefore not described herein in detail. Optionally, the web crawler examines the links in these documents in order to discover new documents that may refer to one or more of the products.
  • [0068]
    After the list is created, as shown at 202, the matching module 103 receives an advertisement which is related to the one of the referred products. As used herein an advertisement means an advertisement or series of advertisements for a product including but not limited to a banner advertisement, an audio advertisement, a video advertisement, a splash page advertisement, a pop-up advertisement, a flash advertisement, a request for an advertisement space, and a floating advertisement. Optionally, an advertisement means an indication, such as a link, an address, an identifier, a serial number, or any other value or reference that can be used to for accessing and/or selecting an advertisement. The advertisement may be used for promoting one or more products which are related to one or more of the referred products and for driving the traffic of network users to documents that promote and/or offer for sale of these products. Optionally, as used herein, an advertisement also means a promotional content that is embedded in the content of a certain document. In such an embodiment, the promotional content may be a segment of the document, which is not allocated for advertisements, for example a product that appears in an image or a video clip, an article that review a product and/or a service, a story or an article that mentions the product, or any other format of indirect advertising.
  • [0069]
    Then, as shown at 203, the matching module 103 reviews the list to select at least one of the mapped documents that includes a reference to a product that is related to the product that is offered and/or promoted in the advertisement. As used herein a reference means a textual reference, such as a word, a phrase, and/or a serial number, a vocal reference, and/or a visual reference, such as an image of the product and/or a video clip that includes one or more frame that depicts the product. An example for such a document may be a webpage, such as a forum webpage and/or a chat window, a social network page, or in an instant messaging (IM) window that includes discussions or questions and answers (Q&A) about products. Another example may be a video clip or an image that a contributor, such as a forum subscriber, has uploaded.
  • [0070]
    Now, as shown at 204, the output module 102 delivers the advertisement to be displayed to a network user that accesses the selected documents or an indication thereto. Optionally, the advertisement is delivered to one or more servers which are related to the selected documents. The related servers may be advertisement servers, as shown at 105, optionally as described below, or hosting servers that hosts the related documents, for example such as website servers. By delivering the advertisement, or an indication thereto, to these servers the system 100 and/or the method 200 allows the presenting of the advertisement to a network user 106 that accesses the selected documents. As used herein, presenting means, playing, displaying, and/or activating the advertisement.
  • [0071]
    In some embodiments of the present invention, the system 100 allows advertisers to select documents which have a direct relation to their product. As described above, an advertisement that promotes a specific product, a product with properties and/or market that is similar to the properties and/or the market of the specific product, and accessories or complementary products to the specific product is delivered to be presented in one or more selected documents that include a reference to the specific product. As these documents include references to the specific product, it is likely that network users, who visit them, are interested in information and/or offers which are related to the specific products, its properties, accessories thereto, and/or related complementary products.
  • [0072]
    In such a manner, the advertiser can use the system 100 for targeted advertising in a group of documents that refer to a common product and/or one or more members of a group of related products. Optionally, the advertiser does not have information about the network users that visit the group of documents and/or about the publishers that link to and/or associated with the group of documents.
  • [0073]
    Reference is now made, once again, to FIG. 1 and to FIG. 3, which is a flowchart of a method for selecting an advertisement to be displayed to a network user 106, according to some embodiments of the present invention. First, as described in 150, a reference to a specific product is identified in a document that is or may be accessed by the network user 106. Optionally, the identification is performed in response to the reception of a request for an advertisement, optionally as described below. Now, as shown at 151, using a dataset, optionally hierarchical, of advertisements is reviewed to select an advertisement that is related to the specific product. For improving the computational complexity of the reviewing of the dataset is optionally a hierarchical dataset of nodes, each define and/or represents a manufacturer, a brand, a trademark™, a model, and/or a property which is related to a specific product, for example as shown at FIG. 4 and further described below. The advertisements are optionally connected to the nodes and may be hosted in one or more advertisement servers, as shown at 105, which are distributed in various geographical locations. Now, as shown at 153, the selected advertisement is delivered to be displayed to the network user. Optionally, the mapping module 101 maps the document in the list 104.
  • [0074]
    Reference is now also made to FIG. 5, which is a schematic illustration of the system 100, according to some embodiment of the present invention. The mapping module 101 and the matching module 103 are as depicted in FIG. 1. However, FIG. 5 further depicts additional modules, sub-modules, and repositories. FIG. 5 depicts a number of advertisement servers 105 that host advertisements for a number of advertisers 314. The delivering of the advertisements to various webpages 315 of various publishers or the delivering indications to these advertisements is managed by the system 100.
  • [0075]
    As described above, the system 100 is designed to list documents which refer to specific products and optionally deliver advertisements which are related to the specific products to users that access these documents. Optionally, the documents are webpages 315 in websites which are referred herein as publishers. Optionally, one or more webpages of each publisher are tagged with a script, such as an HTML script, for example as shown at 316. The script calls one of the advertisement servers 105, and/or the mapping module 101, whenever a request to load the hosting webpage is received.
  • [0076]
    Such a request is referred to herein as a page impression. The call includes an identification of the sending webpage and/or the publisher. Optionally, the call includes information about the network user who initiated the process that yielded the page impression, for example by clicking on a link to the related webpage. The advertisement server 105 optionally hosts one or more advertisements lists 318, each includes a list of advertisements, or links thereto, each related to a specific product and associated with one or more documents that refer to the specific product. In such an embodiment the advertisements lists 318 are updated according to the records of the list 104 which is stored in the list DB 312. The advertisement server 105 matches the received call with the records of the one or more advertisements lists 318. If a match is found, the advertisement server 105 forwards the matched advertisement and/or link to the calling publisher. If a match is not found, the call is forwarded to the mapping module 101, optionally via queue of calls 309 that allows the mapping module 101 to handle simultaneously calls it receives from a number of advertisement servers 105.
  • [0077]
    Reference is now also made to FIGS. 6 and 7, which are respectively a clean image 400 and an image with schematic illustrations 401 of ranks and analyzed words, both of an exemplary webpage, according to some embodiments of the present invention. As described above, the mapping module 101 is designed for creating a list of documents that refers to various products.
  • [0078]
    Optionally, when it receives a link to a new document, such as a webpage, for example at shown at 400, it analyses the webpage and maps it in the aforementioned list 104, according to the analysis. Optionally, the list 104 is hosted in a separate list database (DB) 312. Optionally, the list DB 312 is directly connected to the advertisement servers in order to reduce latency when updating the advertisements list 318, optionally as described below.
  • [0079]
    Reference is now also made to FIG. 4, which is a schematic illustration of the hierarchy 500 of the aforementioned dataset 500 that is reviewed for selecting an advertisement, according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. In some embodiments of the present invention, the dataset 500 is arranged in a general-to-specific hierarchy that has several layers. Optionally, the first layer 501 includes product manufacturer brands, such as Nikon™ and Sony™ and/or server provider brands, such as American on Line™ (AOL) or Sprint™ and the last layer 502 is a layer of unique products, such as Vaio™ VGN-AR670 with a Blu-ray Disc™ drive. Optionally, each unique product may be accessed via a number of layers, for example the unique product Nikon™ Powershot™ 270X with 8.0 Mega pixels is positioned four layers below the first layer 501. The dataset 500 allows associating between one or more advertisements and one or more nodes or a sub-trees in the hierarchy 500. In such a manner, a targeted advertisement that includes an offer for a specific product, such as a unique model may be associated with a node in the last layer 502 and an advertisement for a specific product, such as an offer to any of number of models, such as all the Vaio™ family products or all the Powershot™ family products can be associated with a node in one of the first layers. It should be noted that an advertisement that is targeted to a specific model is assumed to be more effective, inter alia, because it can highlight advantages, such as performance, reputation, and price, of the specific model. It should be noted that the advertisements are related to the specific products and may include an offer or a promotion to a specific product, a product with properties and/or market that is similar to the properties and/or the market of the specific product, and accessories or complementary products to the specific product. For example, if the product is a movie, the advertisement may be for accessories such as cups, shirts, and or books, which are related to the movie. In another example, the specific product is a gadget, such as an iPod™ of Apple™ and the advertisement is to another portable media player, such as Sansa™ of Sundisk™
  • [0080]
    As described above, when a call is received from a new webpage, the server 105 forwards it to the queue 309 that is connected to the mapping module 101. The call comprises an identifier of the related document. The identifier allows the mapping module to access, analyze, and list the related document.
  • [0081]
    Optionally, the call is send automatically every period. In such an embodiment, and as used here, the new webpage is also a webpage that has been already mapped and sent to be remapped.
  • [0082]
    As depicted in FIG. 5, the mapping module 101 optionally comprises a controller 300 that manages a grabber 308, an analyzer 307, a mediator 206, and an application program interface (API) to connect between the system 100 and one or more advertiser modules 304 which allow advertisers to add advertisements, as shown at 202.
  • [0083]
    The grabber 308 is designed for grabbing information that allows the analyzer 307 to analyze and list the related document. Optionally, the related document is a webpage and the grabber 308 extracts the textual content therefrom. Optionally, the new webpage includes textual content. Optionally, the grabber 308 is connected to an optical character recognition (OCR) sub-module (not shown) for identifying characters from a pixilated graphic file and converting them into a regular text file. In such a manner, graphic files can be mapped even if they do not include computer readable textual content.
  • [0084]
    Now, in order to list the new webpage in the list DB 312, the analyzer 307 analyzes the content thereof. Optionally, the analysis is divided to several phases. Optionally, the analyzer 307 uses the dataset 500, which is also referred to herein as a model or a hierarchical data model, and a dictionary 320 that consists a plurality of product descriptions, some associated with one or more related advertisements.
  • [0085]
    First, one or more anchor nodes from the dataset 500 are identified in the new webpage. As used herein an anchor node means a manufacturer, a brand, a trademark™, a model, and/or a property which is related to a specific product and documented in a node of the dataset 500. Optionally, these anchor nodes are searched by reviewing a layer by layer. Optionally, in order to limit the computational complexity of the search, the number of layers which are matched is limited. For identifying each one of the anchor nodes, the nodes of the first layer 501 are reviewed for identifying a match between the content of the new webpage and a word or a phrase that is defined in one of the nodes. If no match is found, a similar match is searched for in the nodes of the second layer, third layer, and so on and so forth. For example, in the exemplary webpage that is shown at FIG. 7, anchor nodes have been found only in one of the lowest layers, a layer that specifies the model numbers. For each anchor node, after a match is found, the child nodes of the matched node are searched. Such a search is iteratively repeated until the child nodes of a certain layer do not include a reference that appears in the new webpage. In such a manner, the most specific product that is referred to in the new webpage and documented in the dataset 500 is identified. For example, when the dataset in FIG. 4 is searched, if the word Sony™ is found in the new webpage, the brands Vaio™, Playstation™, Cyber-Shot™, and Walkman™ are searched. If Vaio™ is found in the new webpage, the family brands AR, TZ, NR, and the like are searched, and so on and so forth.
  • [0086]
    Optionally, each node is associated with a list of synonyms and/or identifying information that match the brand, model, or property it represents. Such identifying information, in structured and/or unstructured text, may include unstructured text that has been identified by analysts or learning machines that identify recurring patterns of text in relation to a specific product or specific product features.
  • [0087]
    Optionally, the mediator 306 receives the anchor nodes and matches an advertisement thereto, optionally according to the aforementioned associations. Optionally, a heuristics module 311 is used to decide which advertisement to serve.
  • [0088]
    Optionally, the mediator 306 matches a number of advertisements to each anchor node it receives. In such a manner, an indication to an advertisement that includes an offer to purchase the product that is related to the anchor node may be sent together with an advertisement to a product with properties and/or a market that is similar to the properties and/or the market of the related product, an indication to an advertisement for accessories for or complementary products to the related product, and/or an indication to an advertisement for services which are related to the specific product, such as upgrade services and the like. For example, if the anchor node is Sony™ Vaio™ from the family brands AR, two or more of the following advertisements may be associated with the new webpage: an indication to an offer to purchase Sony™ Vaio™ from the family brands AR, an indication to an offer to purchase accessories for Sony™ Vaio™, an indication to an offer to purchase a software such as an antivirus and/or firewall, an indication to an offer to purchase an insurance for a laptop, an indication to an advertisement to a website that focus on laptops.
  • [0089]
    Optionally, if two or more anchor nodes are identified, two different advertisements are presented. Optionally, if two or more anchor nodes are identified, a combined advertisement that compares between the two or more different specific products which are related to different anchor nodes the and/or highlights the advantages of one of the products in the light of the other are delivered to the network user that access the new webpage. Optionally, if the word “compare” or any synonym thereof appears in the document the advertisement compares between the two or more different specific products which are related to different anchor nodes. Optionally, if the words “better”, “prefer”, or any synonym thereof appear in the document, the advertisement highlights the advantages of one or more products over the others. Optionally the preferability of a certain product is affected by the weight that is given to related advertisements, optionally as described below
  • [0090]
    If the reference in the new document refers only to an anchor node that is not associated with a certain advertisement, such an association is searched for in the child nodes of the anchor node. For example, the reference in the new document is to Sony™, however the node, which is related to Sony™, for example as shown in FIG. 4, does not associate with any specific advertisement, an association to an advertisement is searched in the child nodes Vaio™, Playstation™, Cyber-Shot™, and Walkman™ are searched. If these nodes are not associated with any specific advertisement, the child nodes thereof are searched, and so on and so forth.
  • [0091]
    Optionally, if the anchor node is not associated with a certain advertisement, such an association is searched for in all the child nodes of the anchor node. In such a manner, all the child node advertisements which are related to the anchor node are found. In such a manner, if the anchor node is Sony™, all the advertisements which are related to Sony™ products are found. Optionally, each one of the child node advertisements is weighted. Optionally, the weighting allows the system 100 to associate the most suitable and/or profitable advertisements with the new document by selecting the one or more advertisements with the highest weight. Optionally, the weight for each advertisement is given on the basis of the estimated and/or actual return of investment, the estimated and/or actual popularity of the advertised products, the number of documents in which it already been posted, the suitability of the advertisement to the characteristics of the new documents, such as the route, the type, the technical characteristics, and/or the business model thereof. Optionally, the weight is dynamically updated according to information which is accumulated thereabout. Such information may include the number of visitors that have reacted to the advertisement and the like. Optionally, the weight is calculated according to the relation between the document and/or the publisher thereof to the advertised product.
  • [0092]
    Optionally, one or more of the advertisements are associated with a number of anchor nodes. In such a manner, an advertisement to a product that is similar to a product which is referred to in the new document is selected.
  • [0093]
    As described above, each node may be connected to one or more advertisements. These advertisements, which are related to the specific product that is referred to in the new webpage, are selected as matched advertisements, as shown at 152. The match and/or the document are optionally mapped in the list DB 312. Optionally, one or more of the advertisements lists 318 are also updated. Each one of these updates allows the delivering of the one or more matched advertisements or indication thereto, as shown at 153, to be displayed to a network user that accesses and/or requests to access the unmapped document.
  • [0094]
    In one embodiment of the present invention, the advertisement is selected and/or adjusted according to additional information which is found in the new webpage. Optionally, after one or more anchor nodes have been identified, a set of categorizing attributes are searched in the new webpage. As used herein a categorizing attribute means a characteristic of the product, a characteristic of the service, a price, a condition, for example, new, used, and/or refurbished, etc. In such an embodiment, each categorizing attribute may be used for generating and/or associating an advertisement that has a promotional content that is aligned with the textual content of the new webpage. For example, if the categorizing attributes “17 screen” is identified, for example as shown at 404, an advertisement that highlights the advantages of a large screen may be created and/or presented, if the categorizing attribute “$1000” is identified, for example as shown at 405, an advertisement that highlights the advantages of the price of the product may be created and/or presented.
  • [0095]
    As commonly known, a placement of an advertisement incurs costs. Thus, it is important to maximize the utility of an advertisement, inter alia, by associating it with the webpages that has the highest relevancy thereto. Optionally, each mapped document is tagged with a relevancy rank for one or more referred products. In such a manner, an advertisement to a specific product can be associated with documents that have a related relevancy rank above a certain threshold. In such a manner, optionally, only document with a high enough relevancy rank are selected as a platform for advertising a specific product. It should be noted that if the relevancy rank is not high enough for a specific model, it may be high enough for a family of products or to a related product. For example, if a relevancy rank is not high enough for an anchor node that defines a model, it may be high enough for an advertisement that is associated with one or the parent nodes, for example the manufacturer node or the product family node. Optionally, if the higher node is not associated with a specific advertisement, one of its child nodes which is associated with an advertisement that may be selected. In such a manner, a related product is selected to be displayed even though a specific model that the system 100 have an advertisement for is not referred to in the document.
  • [0096]
    Such relevancy ranking may be based on characteristics such as, the quality of the match between the product and the content of the document, the favorability of the sentiment regarding the product presented in the document, the type of the document, and/or the relevant reputation of a publisher, such as a website, that is associated with the document. For example, a webpage in which interest is expressed in purchasing a particular product might be ranked higher than one that merely makes reference to the product.
  • [0097]
    Optionally, the quality of the match is evaluated according to the location and/or the incidence of the anchor node in the ranked webpage. For example, as shown at FIG. 7, the presence of the anchor node in the title adds 1 to the relevancy rank, a presence of the anchor node in the first paragraph adds 0.9 to the relevancy rank, and a presence of the anchor node in the other paragraphs adds 0.8 to the relevancy rank. Optionally, the quality is evaluated using known methods such as the term frequency inverse document frequency (tf-idf) weight; see Salton, G, et al. 1983 Introduction to modern information retrieval, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0070544840; Salton, G, et al. 1983 Extended Boolean information retrieval, Commun, ACM 26, 1022-1036; and Salton, G, et al., 1988 Term-weighting approaches in automatic text retrieval. Information Processing & Management 24(5): 513-523, which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • [0098]
    Optionally, the favorability of the sentiment regarding the product is evaluated according to the proximity of positive or negative adjective and/or verbs to the anchor nodes and/or one of the parent nodes thereof. For example, as shown at FIG. 4, the proximity of the positive verbs “like” and “leaning towards” increases the relevancy ranking of the webpage in respectively 1.7 and 0.8.
  • [0099]
    As described above, the relevancy ranking may be affected by the type of the document. Optionally, the type is determined according to its file extension.
  • [0100]
    As described above, the relevancy ranking may be affected by publisher of the document. As commonly known, different publishers may be more suitable than others with regard to the credibility of reference to certain products in their documents. As used herein suitable means positively reputed among the network users that access their pages. For example, a forum, which is related to technical analysis of gadgets, may be more suitable for evaluating the purchase of a new Smartphone than a forum for technophobic people. Optionally, the relevancy rank is evaluated according to the relation between the related publisher and the type of the product, which is optionally induced from one of the layer in the list. When evaluating the relevancy ranking of the webpage with regard to a specific product, the product record thereof is matched with the specific product and/or the products which are defined in parent nodes. In such an embodiment, one or more of the webpages are associated with product records that describe products that they are positively and/or negatively reputed for. Each product in the product records is ranked, either positively and/or negatively. Such a rank may be determined by a judgment that is uploaded by the operator of the system 100 and/or by a statistical analysis, which is optionally performed automatically, of the click-through rates and/or of the return of investment (ROI) of previous, optionally related, advertisements.
  • [0101]
    After the new webpage has been analyzed, matched with one or more related products according to one or more anchor nodes, and ranked for each one of the related products, one or more advertisements may be associated therewith, optionally in real time. The association, which is optionally performed by sending an indication of the one or more advertisements, allows the presentation of the one or more advertisements to users that access the new webpage, for example as shown at 410.
  • [0102]
    Optionally, the mediator 306 is designed to receive advertisements from the advertisers 304 via the API 305 and to match them with the analyzed, optionally ranked, documents. Optionally, the new advertisements are associated with one or more nodes in the dataset. Each associated node represents a product, a family of products, and/or a related product or a family of related products which are promoted and/or advertised in the related advertisement. As used herein a related product means a product with properties and/or market that is similar to the properties and/or the market of the product in the node, accessories products or complementary products which are related to the product in the node. For example, an advertisement to an Acer™ portable computer, that has a specification, a market, and/or a price of as Vaio™ VGN-AR670 with a Blu-ray Disc™ drive associated with the node that represents the Vaio™ VGN-AR670 with a Blu-ray Disc™ drive 503. In such a manner, an advertisement to the aforementioned Acer™ model will be presented to people that access a forum that referred to the Vaio™ VGN-AR670 with a Blu-ray Disc™ drive, allowing them to receive information about comparable product.
  • [0103]
    Optionally, the mediator 306 receives a value representing the budget for each advertisement or for a group of advertisements and identifies the documents with the highest relevancy ranking for the advertised products. In such an embodiment, each one of the mapped documents is associated with a value that defines the advertising cost of associating an advertisement therewith. As used herein associating an advertisement means adding an advertisement to the document, linking to an advertisement from the document, and integrating an indirect advertising in the document.
  • [0104]
    Optionally, the mediator 306 selects a group of documents, referred herein as an advertising bucket, optionally according to the related budget, and associates the advertisement with its members. Optionally, the advertising bucket is assembled to generate the highest ROI. Optionally, the advertising bucket is assembled according to one or more of the business model of the publisher of the documents, an historical data of each publisher and/or document, the relevancy of each publisher and/or document, the geographic distribution of each publisher and/or document, demographic factors of each publisher and/or document, the content provided by the publisher and/or presented in the document, the user behavior, etc. As used herein business model means methods of calculating the charge for advertisements being loaded, such as cost per 1,000 (CPM), cost per click (CPC), cost per action (CPA), cost per lead (CPL), and/or the cost per sale (CPS).
  • [0105]
    Optionally, the mediator 306 is designed to select an advertisement per user and/or a group of users. In such an embodiment, the mediator 306 further receives a user profile the comprises information such as geographical information, which is optionally acquired known geolocation methods, related access history, related purchase history, and subscriber information which may be received from the publisher of the new document. For example, the mediator 306 may use the geographical information to select an advertisement that is related to the region of the IP address or to automatically adjust the selected advertisement. For clarity, such geographical information may affect the selection of product to advertise. Optionally, the weight of each advertisement is changed according to the geographical information if the user.
  • [0106]
    It is expected that during the life of a patent maturing from this application many relevant systems and methods will be developed and the scope of the term network, network user, dataset, database, node, and WWW are intended to include all such new technologies a priori.
  • [0107]
    As used herein the term “about” refers to 10%.
  • [0108]
    The terms “comprises”, “comprising”, “includes”, “including”, “having” and their conjugates mean “including but not limited to”.
  • [0109]
    The term “consisting of means “including and limited to”.
  • [0110]
    The term “consisting essentially of” means that the composition, method or structure may include additional ingredients, steps and/or parts, but only if the additional ingredients, steps and/or parts do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the claimed composition, method or structure.
  • [0111]
    As used herein, the singular form “a”, “an” and “the” include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. For example, the term “a compound” or “at least one compound” may include a plurality of compounds, including mixtures thereof.
  • [0112]
    Throughout this application, various embodiments of this invention may be presented in a range format. It should be understood that the description in range format is merely for convenience and brevity and should not be construed as an inflexible limitation on the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the description of a range should be considered to have specifically disclosed all the possible sub-ranges as well as individual numerical values within that range. For example, description of a range such as from 1 to 6 should be considered to have specifically disclosed sub-ranges such as from 1 to 3, from 1 to 4, from 1 to 5, from 2 to 4, from 2 to 6, from 3 to 6 etc., as well as individual numbers within that range, for example, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. This applies regardless of the breadth of the range.
  • [0113]
    Whenever a numerical range is indicated herein, it is intended to include any cited numeral (fractional or integral) within the indicated range. The phrases “ranging/ranges between” a first indicate number and a second indicate number and “ranging/ranges from” a first indicate number “to” a second indicate number are used herein interchangeably and are intended to include the first and second indicated numbers and all the fractional and integral numerals therebetween.
  • [0114]
    It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention, which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination or as suitable in any other described embodiment of the invention. Certain features described in the context of various embodiments are not to be considered essential features of those embodiments, unless the embodiment is inoperative without those elements.
  • [0115]
    Although the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.
  • [0116]
    All publications, patents and patent applications mentioned in this specification are herein incorporated in their entirety by reference into the specification, to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent or patent application was specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated herein by reference. In addition, citation or identification of any reference in this application shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the present invention. To the extent that section headings are used, they should not be construed as necessarily limiting.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification707/749, 707/E17.071
International ClassificationG06F17/30
Cooperative ClassificationG06F17/30029, G06Q30/02, G06F17/30867, G06F17/30864
European ClassificationG06Q30/02
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