-->But fast-moving tech companies don't tend to waste time on applying for irrelevant patents, said IP attorney John Rabena, a partner at Sughrue Mion, an intellectual property law firm.
"If Google has a patent application on something, they're probably doing it now," Rabena said. In his experience, technology and software companies don't go after a lot of patents. "They tend to stick to their core technology."
A gander at Google's patent portfolio seems to bear out Rabena's theory: The search advertising giant has six applications in the pipeline, three of them filed in 2004, along with seven patents. All but two relate to search; one is for a method of serving relevant advertising and another is for a method of displaying e-mail. <--
One thinks about the patents of Commerce One, which weren't enforced, and then there's BlackLight...
Of Google's application,
"Method for searching media"
But the application illuminates possible plans by the Mountain View, Calif.-based search leader to enable search of printed material, offer pay-per-view documents, scanned documents with clickable ads and even the ability for print publishers to swap out ads in digital copies of their printed pages.
There are two key elements of the patent: a method for executing a permission protocol so that the publisher could authorize Google to display more text from the relevant publication; and storing scanned versions of printed documents along with data sets representing the ads that went with them. <--