Thinking Media Wins Client-Side Tracking Patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded a patent to the principals of Thinking Media Corp. for tracking client interaction with ads.

Managing director Owen Davis and Chief Creative Officer Vid Jain, the inventors, received Patent No. 5,796,952 on Aug. 18. The patent is officially for a “method and apparatus with a network resource and creating client profiles and resource database,” the company said.

“That’s jargon for what we call client-side tracking, which means that we put a kind of homing pigeon in each ad that sends information about it to a central database,” said Jain.

“What’s different is that up until now, ad tracking has been done based on information provided by the computers that serve the ads to the Web browser. Our method lets us track what happens on the user side–who sees which ad, and where and what’s going on inside of the ads–with far greater ease and accuracy.

Client-side tracking forms the basis of Thinking Media’s ActiveTrack technology of tracking and reporting on the delivery and results of online advertising.

Client-side tracking is a solution that comes along at exactly the time when issues of accountability for online advertising have become critical, Davis said. The technique will help provide the kinds of proof of effectiveness that advertisers want to see before they begin to allocate bigger budgets to the Internet, he said.

Davis said that client-side tracking provides greater accuracy in counting proxy server impressions, because it doesn’t rely on data from servers at all. Also, the new measurement technology can easily report on all the gradations of interaction that are possible in rich media ads.

In addition, Davis said that the amount of time banners are displayed, and the amount of time surfers spend interacting with them are among the metrics made possible under the patent.

Founded in 1995 in New York City, Thinking Media is a privately held, full- service Internet marketing agency and online advertising technology provider.

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