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Say What? Google Patents Its Home Page

WebProNews is reporting that Google finally scored a patent on its home page--or rather, its "graphical user interface for a display screen of a communications terminal"--this week after a five-and-a-half-year fight. The big question we're asking is why, as the front page is utterly simplistic and doesn't sport any kind of fancy detail or design. In fact, an amateur web designer could probably generate the same output in class, coding the HTML and Javascript by hand.

However, although the newly christened patent seems frivolous, Google now owns the design of a search engine bar planted firmly in the middle of a page, sporting two buttons underneath. This may cause problems for other search engines using a minimalist layout as well, including rival Yahoo. With the patent now in place, Google has the right to sue any search engine using a similar interface.

The New York Post expands the story somewhat, providing additional details in regards to Google's road to patent heaven. According to the site, the US Patent and Trademark Office hesitated on awarding the prized patent due to questions it had in regards to the website's design; the search engine itself granted the "originality" title that earned its golden patent back in 2006. Yet although Google's front page lacks dazzle, sparkle, and all that Flash-laden glory plaguing most Internet sites, the government eventually decided to grant a separate patent, indicating that the page is an innovative "graphical user interface."

Despite the patent, there are questions on whether the design is actually original, that there may be issues regarding prior art designed by another firm using the same layout. "I would question whether the Google home page was entirely original," one blogger even said. It wouldn't be surprising if Google's new patent will be disputed.

  • mrhappy50
    Well Im guna patent the design of my house, the design of my computer, and some other stuff that no one cares about
  • False_Dmitry_II
    Well, I heard that somebody had a patent for using a keyboard to interact with a computer, so I'm not surprised.
  • bustapr
    Who would want to patent such a plain page???
  • Stupid patent laws. Now I don't want anybody steeling somebody's else ideas, but this case proves that the patent system is broken.
  • blackpanther26
    What a joke!!! Really? Ok I'm going to paten my desktop wallpaper.
  • Supertrek32
    Does this mean I can patent how I arrange my computer desk? Monitor in the middle, speakers on either side, keyboard in front of monitor, mouse to right of keyboard, and tower under my desk. Anyone who wants to arrange their desk like that will need to pay me.
  • ravewulf
    Ah! But I made a page with 3 buttons!

    (not really)
  • Major7up
    It is my sincere hope that Google has patented it in the pursuit of protecting itself form some other random schmoe from doing the same and then trying to sue Google. Unfortunately this opens the door for them to knock out anyone else they may see as a threat later on. I don't like it but we will see what happens.
  • hunter315
    Now they can actually go after people making fake google search engine homepages, i doubt they are going to go hunting for every violation but just like SciFi and its name change now they can actually do something if someone blatantly infringes.
  • kingssman
    Are you allowed to patent the wheel?