Google Q&A Patent Applications?

Depending upon how you may phrase a query, Google will sometimes jump into a Q&A (question and answer) mode. This is described on one of Google’s help pages:

Want to know the population of Japan? What currency is used in Algeria? The birthplace of Bono? Hit us with a fact-based question or query (like “population of Japan”) by typing it into the Google search box. We’ll search the web and display the answer at the top of your search results page. We also link to our source for this information so that you can learn even more.

Google Web Search Features

The same feature is available through a moble phone service from Google, a little more straightforward in that you know you are only in Q&A mode when asking a question:

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Patent Documents Mentioning the Open Directory Project in 2006

In the recent predictions for 2007 post, a commenter asked about the impact of the Open Directory Project and its data on research in 2006, and what the information might be used for in 2007. I was also asked what I thought was the most interesting use.

Those were some great questions, and I really hadn’t tracked carefully the appearance of the Open Directory Project in published patent applications and granted patents, though I had seen it mentioned in a number of papers in 2006. I thought it might be interesting to find mentions of the DMOZ in the patent filings that were either granted, or published publicly as applications during the year, and see how the Directory was referred to, or the data from the directory was used.

Below are links to those documents, who they are assigned to, and a brief synopsis of why the DMOZ was mentioned within them. In the conclusion, I list some of the more interesting of those, and the one that I liked the most.

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