Before I began working with Danny and Chris here at SEW, I was tracking new search-related patents and patent apps on my ResourceShelfPLUS site. These days, we regularly read about new Google patent applications but rarely do we find info and lists of newly awarded patents and just published patent applications from other companies.
So, I'm going to do my best to track and regularly feature newly awarded search-related patents and just published patent apps on the SEW Blog.
We'll begin today with a look at Yahoo.
First, a couple of notes.
Patent applications are just that, applications. They don't guarantee that the company/person who will submitted the application will be awarded the patent. In other words, you can't always get what you want. Patent applications are usually published (not always) 18 months after the application was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office. At this point, the patent is now publicly viewable and it's a time for other people, groups, companies who oppose the patent to speak-up and let the USPTO know why it shouldn't be awarded. For example, the current Google patent application making news was submitted in December 2003. Yes, Google was doing RSS work even back then.
An awarded patent means the company/person has been granted the patent by the USPTO. Patents can be opposed after they've been granted but it's a more costly and time consuming process.
I think it's important to understand the differences.
Ok, with that out of the way, let's begin our new regular feature.
We'll start with a newly published patent application from Yahoo for techniques to run user-specific vertical searches.
Title: User-specific vertical search
United States Patent Application: 20050160083
Publication Date: July 21, 2005
Filed: June 29, 2004
Abstract: Techniques for performing user-specific searches are provided. A search engine receives a search query and performs processing to determine whether a user-specific search is indicated. If the search engine so determines, user-specific data is searched using user identity information to generate user-specific search results specific to the user identified by the user identity. Accordingly, the search results include information that is specific to the user determined from the user identity associated with the search query.
Here's a selected list of a few more patent apps from Yahoo that have been published since January:
Btw, in 2003, I put together this selected list of Yahoo's patent portfolio at that time including AltaVista patents.
That's it for this post. More new patents and patent apps from other companies soon.