Patent office changes views, could impact Google and others
New criteria for restricting the scope of what the US Patent Office considers patent-worthy poses a threat to numerous software patents, including Google’s famed PageRank.
Google climbed past a morass of ineffective search engines when it arrived on the Internet. Its devotion to the most relevant possible solution for a given query quickly made it the de facto search choice as millions of people shifted their browsing habits from walled garden content to the broader World Wide Web.
The essential and much-discussed PageRank technology holds a patent, a common legal protection sought by software developers small and large. Some have claimed software patents affect far too broad a scope of potential innovation, leading to lawsuits where a patent owner claims damages by multiple companies.