Controlling the motor of a dish by a smartphone before 07/2011

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Thread Starter
New Member
Aug 1, 2018
Hey there,

I am new to this forum and I have a special inquiry. My company received a warning letter from an attorney saying that it is not allowed to distribute a motorized satellite dish system that can be controlled by a smartphone.

So I was hoping that there have been any projects in the past showing that someone else had this idea before. Of course I used the "search" button, but I was not happy with the results.

The patent they sent us has a filing date of July 2011, so I assume that I need some publications before that date. The patent is bad written and the "claim 1??" only says:

- Motorized antenna system with a control unit;
- The control unit is a smartphone;
- The smartphone may have a GPS-sensor, a tilt-sensor or a compass;
- The smartphone can control the motor of the antenna by loading an application program.

First I thought this is some kind of sick joke, because the antenna could be a dish, but also a simple dipole.

However, the thoughts I had as a starting point:
  1. Controlling motorized dishes was possible by a simple remote control. Early smartphones also had an IR transmitter so that they might be used as a universal remote control (Maybe someone has a datasheet, product brochure, operations manual of his motorized dish for me indicating that the dish can be rotated by pressing a button of a simple remote control);
  2. Regarding HAM radio, I found also some projects (PstRotator) for rotating the antenna. However, a stationary computer (without GPS, tilt, compass) is used;
Have there been any private projects going on back then writing apps for android or something. I am not thinking of apps for checking the alignment of a satellite dish but for controlling the motor.

Thanx a bunch in advance. I am a little desperate.



SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 25, 2017
Pekin, IL
Before 2011?? I got my first Android in 2010 and it was the Eclair version, which was pretty rudimentary. I can't see one prior to that having that kind've control other than as an idea


Supporting Founder
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 7, 2003
Rohnert Park, CA
Keep in mind that the OP is in Germany. Things can be a bit different over there...


SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 28, 2013
Where our wheels go
Yes, it definitely sounds like a patent attorney is in your company's future. My guess would be that's from a patent troll or hoarder. They file or buy obscure broadly written patents and then go after anyone that comes remotely close to infringing on it. Their claim often falls apart if their patent is challenged.

Patent troll - Wikipedia
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SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 5, 2008
West Coast Canada
My understanding was that the patent would not be valid if its only attribute was that it was run by a computer, or in this case a small computer. Every Set Top Box is a computer and different operating systems are not criteria for patents.

This might be helpful. It covers US and EU patents related to Computer Implemented inventions:
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