With so much attention being placed on each and every U.S. patent application that Google has published, I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look and see what others are doing in the way of search-related IP. By NO means should this be considered a complete list. It's far from it. I just did some quick research and came up with the following list of patent applications (most published within the few weeks) from a few of the major search players and a couple of other companies. Each patent is linked to the full text where you can learn more. Lots of interesting stuff going on.
Title: Moveable interface to a search engine that remains visible on the desktop
Title: Method and system for identifying image relatedness using link and page layout analysis
Title: Method and system for classifying display pages using summaries
Title: Method and apparatus for performing a search
Title: Method and system for ranking documents of a search result to improve diversity and information richness
Title: Contextual flyout for search results
Title: Method and apparatus for providing information
Title: Method and apparatus for identifying related searches in a database search system
Title: Verifying relevance between keywords and Web site contents
Title: Systems and methods that rank search results
Title: Search systems and methods with integration of user annotations
Title: Integration of instant messenging with Internet searching
Title: Search system using user behavior data
Want to discuss some of these non-Google patents? Check out this thread in the SEW Forums.
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