Tech Talk

Recent posts

A groundbreaking new report by the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C. explores sustainability in the hospitality industry and examines ways in which hotels are incorporating eco-friendly best practices into both operations and construction. The study includes insights from leading hotel owners, developers and investors.

Every hotel owner wants to know how he can increase the traffic to the website, and at the same time, boost direct bookings. The key to accomplish both the objectives is to design a site that is accessible even to disabled people. It will not only improve the usability for all types of visitors, but it will also improve your market penetration. Designing ADA website is also very imperative to prevent legitimate complications. In addition to this, an ADA feature will aid in improving the website performance in search engines.

The underappreciated city of Minneapolis served as host for the 2019 edition of HITEC (produced by HFTP) which wrapped up its most recent four-day run on June 20, 2019. In the days and weeks leading up to the event, meeting solicitations and party invites filled my inbox at a growth rate any VC or entrepreneur would envy. As a first-timer to this international hospitality technology behemoth, it became apparent that HITEC actually begins a few weeks prior to when that first request or invitation lands in your over-stuffed inbox.

Time is limited. Once it’s gone, you can’t gain it back. Similarly, once a room goes unsold for a night, it will go unsold forever. There’s no way to recover that loss, because there’s no way to go back in time.
 
Many hotels fight this limitation by trying to sell as many rooms as possible. If all the rooms are completely booked, time no longer becomes a factor. But most don’t have the luxury of being at-capacity every single night. That’s why last-minute booking apps are growing in popularity in the industry, where hotels can make the most of each day. These apps specifically target guests who don’t plan far in advance, seeking accommodations from one week to one minute later.
 
There are several different ways your hotel can benefit from using last-minute booking apps in your business strategy.

IoT is Coming, Jon Snow…
Posted: 05/21/2019

Hospitality is prime for the coming advent of the various devices that make up the Internet of Things. Estimates show the industry now represents 17.5 million rooms worldwide and savvy guests are demanding more personalization and an overall improved guest experience along their connected travel journey and belief is that IoT can bring this to reality. 



want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.

x
 

The Patent Lawsuit the Hotel Industry is Watching – Round Two Goes to Nomadix, but the Case is Far from Over

02/19/2016

The early-stage evaluations are flying back and forth in the patent lawsuit between Nomadix and Blueprint RF. A second round of motions has been decided in Nomadix’s favor, but unlike the initial industry reaction the final outcome appears far from being determined. 

The lawsuit, filed in the Central District Court of California on October 24, 2014, alleges Blueprint's Dominion gateway infringes on seven patents held by Nomadix. Five of the patents address browser redirection to a login page, and two address automatic folio billing for Internet connection charges. According to a release issued by Nomadix: This Nomadix patent (U.S. Patent No. 8,156,246) protects key technology for redirecting user computers to captive portal pages.

In an order for partial summary judgement, almost a year before a trial is scheduled, Judge Dean D. Pregerson, U.S. District Court judge for the Central District of California, ruled for Nomadix on infringement of two claims of one of the patents. According to documents we received from Nomadix, this decision limits its focus going forward to counting its damages and arguing for an enhanced award for “willful infringement.” This may involve issuing subpoenas to Blueprint RF’s customers and other forms of legal discovery.

"We are pleased with the court's ruling," explained Fred Reeder, chief commercial and operating officer of Nomadix. "This ruling vindicates our belief that our patents are valid.”

“Not so fast,” said Ron Peterson, CEO of Blueprint RF. Peterson states that his company holds incontrovertible evidence that Nomadix did not invent “redirection to a login page” or “automatic folio billing of Internet connect charges.” Blueprint cites numerous sources demonstrating that several early HSIA providers put these techniques into commercial operation well before Nomadix claims to have invented them. 

Now that the judge has interpreted at least some of the Nomadix patent claims to cover the Dominion gateway, the focus of the lawsuit turns to the key issue of patent validity. Peterson explained that Judge Pregerson did not decide validity in Nomadix’s favor, but deferred this decision until later in the case. Trial is currently scheduled to occur in early 2017. 

In a prior decision, Judge Pregerson ruled that Blueprint RF can present its “inequitable conduct” evidence that the patents are invalid due to alleged “fraud on the Patent Office” committed when Nomadix originally obtained the patents. “This unusual ruling is a big deal in a case like this,” Peterson said.

Peterson has remained firm in his stance against Nomadix.  “The rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated. When the final arguments are heard, I believe we will prevail and hotels will no longer be required to pay pass-through licensing fees earmarked for Nomadix. This result would absolutely benefit the entire industry by lowering costs for providing guest Internet access, and freeing the industry to innovate,“ said Peterson.

It’s important to note that Blueprint RF is investing in a two-pronged legal defense, including preparation for trial in court and separately challenging validity of the patents at the U.S. Patent Office. The company has recently filed Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) with the United States Patent Trial and Review Board (PTAB) to invalidate five patents, with additional challenges in the works. If Blueprint is successful and the United States Patent office agrees, all of the patents will be found invalid.

It appears that this case is far from over, with trial and the initial decisions from the Patent Office scheduled and appeals to likely follow. In the meantime, we will keep you posted on future developments.

About The Author
Trevor Warner

Warner Consulting Group


Trevor Warner is an industry expert and consulting for the hospitality technology field.

 
Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment



 Security code