If you ever wanted to create and launch your own search engine, then Google might now how the power to stop you.
It took the attorney’s 5 years to get it approved, but Google now officially holds a patent for its homepage.
Below is the official patent document from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You will see in the image some bolded elements; these are the areas that Google has patented.
Google received the design patent for a “graphical user interface for a display screen of a communications terminal.” What does all this mean? Basically, Google owns the idea of having a giant search box in the middle of the page, with two big buttons underneath and several small links nearby. So if you want to build a search engine, make sure it doesn’t contain any of these elements.
This patent does make a small amount of sense, seeing as though the sparse design of Google’s homepage is one of the secrets to its success.
What will be interesting is to see how Google plans to flex its muscles with this new patent. Will they go after Yahoo who has a very similar search page? Or perhaps the more imminent threat, Bing?
I guess the moral of the story is, if you want to build a search engine then go crazy, but make sure it looks crazy too otherwise Google will come after you.