Search Patents Of The Week

    June 12, 2006

In the latest round of search patents, Microsoft came out ahead – the software company was granted four. IBM and Yahoo snagged two patents each, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office saw fit to allow Google one new patent.

The sole patent granted to Google this week is intended to speed up searches. It follows a number of recent patents involving search integration with mobile devices and languages that don’t utilize alphabetical characters, however, so the leading search engine company isn’t resting on its laurels.

One of IBM’s patents involves technology that would weed out certain search results. Titled “Administration of search results,” it allows users to exclude specific pages, as well as pages linking to or from the original address. The other patent was for “System, method, and service for using a focused random walk to produce samples on a topic from a collection of hyper-linked pages.”

The two patents granted to Yahoo deal with the categorization of concepts and building taxonomies of those concepts. The titles are fairly descriptive of their intended purposes: “Automatic generation of taxonomies for categorizing queries and search query processing using taxonomies” and “Search processing with automatic categorization of queries.” These link with a number of patents Yahoo has received lately, all relating to searches as based on concept units.

Microsoft also got a patent related to search concepts. Another one of its patents was called “System and method for customization of search results.” This technology would allow users to choose what sort of information would appear on the search engine’s results page. Microsoft’s other patents this week were for a “System and method for video browsing using a cluster index,” and “Block importance analysis to enhance browsing of web page search results.”

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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.