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Facebook Patents Location Social Networking 120

bizwriter writes "Facebook just received a patent with broad claims that would seem to cover much of what Google (GOOG) Latitude, Foursquare, Gowalla, and others try to do in letting users share their locations with others. Patent number 7,809,805, called 'Systems and methods for automatically locating web-based social network members,' covers people manually entering a status, sending that and their location from a wireless device, and sharing both the status and location with others. Facebook's corporate value just took a big jump — and a number of other companies might have to either challenge the patent's validity or consider licensing deals."

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