Google Patents

Sometimes it helps to stand back and look at the bigger picture. Many of my posts are about Google patents, but I haven’t published a list of those patents.

I’ve located all of the granted Google patents that I could find that were either listed in the assignment database at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or noted in their granted patents database as assigned to Google. I haven’t included Google’s pending patent applications.

I’ll be updating this post as new Google patents are granted. – last updated February 5, 2011 – see: Google Patents, Updated

I also included granted patents for Exaflop, which seems, on the patent assignment documents, to share an address with Google at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, California 94043. Those are listed at the bottom of this post, and aren’t included in the following statistics.

There are 187 granted patents listed for Google at the USPTO databases, and another 10 for Exaflop. It’s probably not a surprise that the biggest category involves search indexing. I’ve grouped the Google assigned patents into categories as follows:

  • Advertising Patents (15)
  • Design Patents (11)
  • Duplicate Content Patents (4)
  • Email and Messaging Patents (7)
  • Event Modeling Patents (3)
  • Game Patents (2)
  • Hardware Patents (12)
  • Image and Video Patents (17)
  • Large File Space Indexing Patents (9)
  • Medical Patents (1)
  • Modeling and Mapping Patents (11)
  • Multiple Database Indexing (3)
  • Phrase-Based Indexing Patents (3)
  • Radio Patents (7)
  • Search Indexing Patents (63)
  • Security Patents (3)
  • Social Networking (1)
  • Software Patents (4)
  • Vehicles (1)
  • Voice Search Patents (2)
  • Voting Patents (1)
  • Wireless and Mobile Patents (7)
  • Total (187)

I was also interested in seeing the original assigned companies for the Google patents, and took that information from the USTPO assignment database when available. The granted Exaflop patents were all originally assigned to Digital Equipment Corporation.

  • @Last Software, Inc. (1)
  • Bidamic Inc. (1)
  • Computer Concepts Corporation (2)
  • Decisive Technology Corporation (1)
  • Disney Enterprises, Inc. (1)
  • DMarc Broadcasting, Inc. (6)
  • Doubleclick, Inc. (4)
  • Eyematic Interfaces, Inc. (13)
  • Google Technology, Inc. (2)
  • Google, Inc. (127)
  • Gossett and Gunter, Inc. (3)
  • Goupfire, Inc. (2)
  • Green Border Technologies (2)
  • Infoseek Corporation (9)
  • Intel Corporation (1)
  • Keyhole, Inc. (1)
  • Kranson Industries, Inc. (1)
  • Nevengineering, Inc. (1)
  • News Village L.L.C. (1)
  • Oingo, Inc. (2)
  • Ortiz & Lopez, PLLC (1)
  • Starwave Corporation (3)
  • The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (1)
  • Wildtangent (1)

Advertising Patents

With the inclusion of Doubleclick patents, Google’s advertising patents provide a good range of topics, including presenting ads based upon context of searches and the content of pages that advertising appears upon as well as ways to measure the delivery, targeting and of those ads on web pages and in emails.

Design Patents

Design patents don’t cover processes as much as they do the look and feel of some aspect of an application or product.

Duplicate Content Patents

Search engines strive to present unique content to searchers in the results that they present to them, and a list of search results that all show the same content or very similar would likely frustrate searchers. The following patents provide different ways of identifying content that may be very similar on different pages.

Email and Messaging Patents

Event Modeling Patents

These patents involve the use and manipulation of databases, and include the creation of events that can trigger actions without changing the underlying structure of those databases.

Game Patents

This patent covers an interactive online gaming system that could possibly be used with advertising. There are some Google patent applications that describe advertising in games.

Difficult to choose whether to include the following patent under games or Radio, since it originally comes from DMarc, but only having one patent in the Games category called out for adding it here:

Hardware Patents

Some surprises in this section, though it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that Google would need to create some of its own hardware with the challenges that they face in crawling and indexing so many pages on the Web. It is odd to see something like an “Adjustable monitor cart,” included in the list, though.

Image and video Patents

Most of the patents below originally come from Eyematic Interfaces, Inc., is the original name of Nevengineering, Inc., which Google acquired in August of 2006. Some of the technology from that acquisition has been used in Google’s picture sharing software, Picassa. Some of it may end up being used in Google’s image search.

Large File Space Indexing Patents

I separated some of Google’s search-related patents out from the rest because they focus more on handling large amounts of data rather than how Google might rank pages or handle other aspects of running a search engine. If you want a look at some of the technical aspects of how a very large search engine works, these provide some insights.

Medical Patents

This patent seems out of place in Google’s portfolio. It may have come over to Google with the acquisition of Where 2 Technologies since the assigners listed in the assignment database are two of the people who came over to Google when they acquired that company.

Modeling and Mapping Patents

Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Sketchup are powered by some interesting technology, some of which came to them with through acquisitions. There are a good number of patent applications which may join this group in the near future, including human-friendly driving directions, and mobile maps with data overlays that make it easier to learn a great deal about areas that you might be traveling through.

Multiple Database Indexing

Some early patents that Google acquired from Infoseek describe ways of showing information in one set of results from multiple databases, a little like Google’s blended and Universal Search results.

Phrase-Based Indexing Patents

Infoseek also provided Google with some approaches to indexing pages based upon phrases that appear upon those pages. Google has done some additional work in this area, and the Google patent listed below covers their work in that area in a detailed manner.

Radio Patents

In earlier days, DMarc Broadcasting, Inc. was known as Computer Concepts Corporation. The intellectual property that Google inherited when they purchased DMarc covers a pretty comprehesive system of advertising and measuring the broadcast of those ads.

Search Indexing Patents

I’ve written about a number of these patents in the past. If you want some insights into the thoughts and assumptions behind how Google’s search engine may work, these provide some interesting hints.

Security Patents

It’s not a surprise that a search engine would invest in some technology that would help with with security online, and protect people from malware. The new browser, Google Chrome, uses a sandboxing security feature that sounds like technology developed Green Border Technolgies.

Social Networking

There are a few other patent filings from Google that haven’t been granted, but may be. This one covers some ways that people might request recommendations or advice or assistance (including search assistance) on a social network.

Software Patents

The following patent is an add on for browsers that might give them additional functionality. Some of that functionality appears to have been built into Google Chrome.

Some additional patents that seem most appropriate to list in the software category:

Vehicle Patents

Voice Search Patents

With the rapid growth of mobile phone usage, it makes sense for a search engine to work on voice interfaces for search.

Voting Patents

It’s possible that some of the ideas included in the patent were used in the voting process that is built into the recently released Google Moderator, which allows individuals within a group to ask questions and allows the other group members to vote upon which questions they believe to be the most important.

Wireless and Mobile Patents

Google has patented a number of processes that focus upon wireless communications. It will be interesting to see how they will use some of it, including the possibility of freeing up whitespace for broadband access.

Exaflop Patents

Most of the granted Exaflop patents involve email, though the last one listed surprisingly veers off that topic to focus upon datamining. There are also seven published patent applications from Exaflop pending with the 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway address which mostly cover aspects of running data centers.

There’s another granted patent database listing showing Exaflop as the assignee, (Integrated content guide for interactive selection of content and services on personal computer systems with multiple sources and multiple media presentation, which was granted on August 28, 2008, but doesn’t show Exaflop of the Amphitheatre Parkway address in the assignment database.


Author: Bill Slawski

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