The Latest List Of Search Patents

    July 6, 2006

In the who-has-the-most-search-patent-applications competition, Google has won the latest round, with Yahoo coming in second. (There is, of course, no such contest, but it makes things more interesting to pit the companies against each other.)

Bill Slawski compiled the list of patents on Search Engine Watch. Google, in addition to having the most, had one of the more interesting applications. As Slawski wrote, “It’s the first patent filing I’ve seen that includes island resorts, shopping malls, and chinese restaurants as part of the Exemplary System Architecture.'”

The title of the patent mentions “dynamic promotional offers such as coupons and advertisements,” but a much wider array of meanings and applications is implied. “Imagine shopping kiosks at your local shopping mall that can be used as part of this system, you have part of the broader picture in place,” Slawski said.

Another Google filing describes “new, more efficient ways to collect product reviews from the Internet, aggregate reviews for the same product, and provide an aggregated review to end users in a searchable format.” It doesn’t appear to be anything revolutionary, but it could be useful.

A Yahoo patent is for “a system and method for enabling information providers using a computer network such as the Internet to influence a position for a search listing.” As to how that influence comes about, “the network information provider influences the position for a search listing through a continuous online competitive bidding process.” Slawski, in much plainer language, notes that the patent “appears to describe the pay-for-performance search advertising process presently in place on Yahoo.”

In my humble opinion, these were the most interesting patents, but as mentioned earlier, the entire collection can be viewed at Search Engine Watch. Google had three patents in this period, Yahoo had two, and Microsoft, AOL, IBM, and Become Inc. all scraped by with one apiece

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