Facebook Patent Applications and Targeted Advertising using Intellectual Property

Let’s look at where Facebook and Social Networks are going with a few of their patent applications.

Companies large and small file patent applications for innovations that never find their way into actual products and services.  However, many of the innovations do find their way into products, like smartphones, smart speakers, wearables and social network apps.

How Facebook Patent Applications support Targeted Advertising with Intellectual Property

We know Facebook is well informed about our lives. Facebook does this through User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX) and the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).  And with these come patent applications and patent pending technologies that are already in use and others that are in development.

Facebook Patent Applications and Targeted Advertising using Intellectual Property


Here are titles of some of the other intellectual property patents Facebook has applied for or has pending:

Inferring Relationship Statuses of Users of a Social Networking System, Statistics for Continuous Location Tracking, and Determining User Personality Characteristics from Social Networking System Communications and Characteristics.

Facebook isn’t the only one with User Interface (UI), User Experience (UX Artificial Intelligence (AI), Artificial Reality (AR); Intellectual Property (IP) patents. Google, Amazon, and even car manufacturers – Tesla, Ford, Chevrolet, Kia, Hyundai etc. have patents in the queue to target your spending.

What do all these patent applications have in common?

Two things:

First, they all improve targeted advertising.  Second, they are all based on complex and highly technical software algorithms and methods.  And to answer the earlier question: I’ll bet all of these inventive concepts are going to make their way into the Facebook app.  In 2018, nearly 99% of Facebook’s revenue came from targeted advertising.

Which one of these clever and mildly creepy Facebook patent applications below are already in play and which do you think are making their way into “The Social Network” app?

(Provided are titles and a brief description of the patent claims.)

Routine Deviation Notification – Methods of tracking your normal weekly routine and determining when you deviate from it.  When the app determines that you are deviating, other users are notified.  It also claims methods of determining where you live, specifically where you sleep, by determining a phone’s location in the middle of the night.  – Already Being Used … Facebook Location Services already does this in many ways. Emergency Notifications, sponsored content, and targeted advertising – some via your microphone; it overhears just like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Associating Cameras with Users of a Social Networking System – Identifying the specific camera on your phone by looking for a “signature” on the lens, such as faulty pixels or lens scratches.  It uses the signature to see who is uploading pictures taken by your phone’s camera and will determine there’s a connection between you and those people, even if you and those individuals are NOT connected on Facebook.  It will assume an affinity between you and them and suggest you connect.

Predicting Life Changes of Members of a Social Networking System – Methods of using your posts and messages, credit card transactions and location to predict when a major life event, such as a birth, death, or graduation, is likely to occur.  – Already Being Used … Targeted Advertising are showing up about conversations you had with others and within your email channels. They know if you spoke or emailed on Alzheimer’s, joined a senior caregiver support group on Facebook or Meetup, or Googled any of the many keywords associated while Facebook was running. Facebook algorithms can predict your upcoming life events and advertise to you for it.

The Nag Law Blog

“A patent portfolio is a map of how a company thinks about where its technology is going.”

If you have a software-based invention,  Contact me  and we can discuss how the new guidelines can be used to draft a patent application that covers your idea and won’t be rejected for patent ineligibility under Alice/Mayo.


Rupak Nag

Rupak Nag


B.S., Computer Science, Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

J.D., Fordham University School of Law

Bar Admissions:

State Bar of California

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


Comprehensive IP Protection

Mr. Nag has worked closely with CTOs and Engineering teams to ensure strategic and comprehensive IP protection and has collaborated with product teams to align IP protection with a company’s flagship services and products. Some of Mr. Nag’s areas of technical and IP experience include a wide array of software and Internet technologies, including human-computer interaction (HCI) design/volumetric computing, interactive TV and digital media services, mobile device and application security, anti-malware software, online advertising, online gaming, and encryption.

Software Patents

Rupak Nag began his career in 1995 as an intellectual property litigator at Silicon Valley law firms focusing on software, computer, and Internet-related patents. Over the last 24 years he has focused on advising and protecting IP for entrepreneurs, emerging growth technology companies, and multinationals. Mr. Nag has drafted and prosecuted over 300 US and foreign patent applications in software and hardware technologies. Most recently he worked as senior counsel for a mobile security software company in San Francisco where he built the entire patent portfolio to over 60 issued and pending US and foreign patent applications in embedded security, mobile device and application security, and in Internet of Things (IoT).