Google has acquired seven pending search user interface patents from defunct, erstwhile challenger Cuil. Google declined to say how it would appropriate the technology.
(NASDAQ:GOOG) confirmed it has purchased seven search patent applications of
Cuil, the failed search startup that set out to defeat the search engine giant
when it was launched more than three years ago.
terms of the patent purchase were not disclosed. A Google spokesperson declined
to comment on the company's plans for the seven patents, which are pending
approval by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
one patent application is for a graphical user interface that includes tabs
representative of different classes of search results.
The tabs are
rendered in response to the processing of a query. Search results in this UI
group content by meaning, "such that a query term with different meanings
produces different classes of search results with different meanings,"
according to the patent applications.
Another of the
patent applications includes a GUI that sports a "scroll area" that
shows off search results along with a permanently displayed anchored area.
pertains to a GUI that includes a document retrieved by processing a query.
This GUI also hosts an advertisement, which could surface as text, an image or
an icon, which is automatically generated based on the content in the document.
noted, the patent applications are not what most people would have expected
Google to acquire from Cuil, which offered unique methods of indexing search
created by former Google employees Tom Costello and his wife, Anna
Patterson, who left the company because they felt limited by the constraints of
its traditional link analysis and traffic ranking, which picks the 10 most
technology analyzed the context of each page and the concepts behind each
query. It then organized any similar search results into groups and sorts them
by category in three columns across the page in magazine-style fashion. The
results included thumbnail images.
marketing pitch was that it would dethrone Google by indexing three times as
many Web pages, including some 120 billion Web pages, compared with 40 billion
on Google. Cuil also promised to afford users greater privacy than the
incumbent by vowing not to collect IP addresses or search histories.
Yet when the
Website launched to great fanfare on July 28, 2008, it crashed
repeatedly as millions of people pinged the search engine to run queries on
the erstwhile Google-killer.
Cuil's executive team erupted and festered. Cuil shut down in September 2010,
with Patterson returning to Google in a research capacity soon after.
been heard of Cuil since, until Slawski's scoop.