Google Homepage Patent Gratuitous?

    September 8, 2009

In early 2004, Google’s lawyers didn’t have nearly enough to do.  A patent on the design of Google’s homepage (AKA its "[g]raphical user interface for a display screen of a communications terminal") that they applied for at that time was granted Tuesday.

Let us know what you think in the comments section.

What Google’s going to do with the patent is, frankly, anybody’s guess.  No corporation with the ability to approach Google’s effectiveness at search would be dumb enough to copy its exact design.  And it’d be a rare judge who would let Google take action against Yahoo or other search rivals on the basis of similarities born out of identical functions.

There’s a question of prior art, as well, since Google might not have been the first entity to stick a search box in the middle of a mostly-blank page. 

Anyway, in case you’re curious, part of the patent states, "The single view is a front view of a graphical user interface for a display screen of a communications terminal."

Also, "The broken line of the display screen and the broken line showing of certain words and numbers in the drawing are for illustrative purposes only and form no part of the claimed design."