Google is back in the news today for acquiring a U.S. patent for its changing logo system, something they call "Google Doodles." The patent was granted this week, after being in submission purgatory since 2001.
The patent goes by the name "Systems and Methods for Enticing Users to a Web Site." The description declares that the patent is for the invention of "periodically changing story line and/or special event company logo to entice users to access a web page."
Sounds more complicated than it is, because all it means is that Google has patented the concept of changing a logo for special events and holidays. Below, is a description from the patent about the method Google uses to change its logo:
"A non-transitory computer-readable medium that stores instructions executable by one or more processors to perform a method for attracting users to a web page, comprising: instructions for creating a special event logo by modifying a standard company logo for a special event, where the instructions for creating the special event logo includes instructions for modifying the standard company logo with one or more animated images; instructions for associating a link or search results with the special event logo, the link identifying a document relating to the special event, the search results relating to the special event; instructions for uploading the special event logo to the web page; instructions for receiving a user selection of the special event logo; and instructions for providing the document relating to the special event or the search results relating to the special event based on the user selection."
Many people are outraged by this frivolous patent, including Business Insider's Matt Rosoff, who said that "the patent system was originally created to foster innovation by protecting small inventors from having their ideas ripped off by big companies. But increasingly, big companies are using patents for exactly the opposite reason - to stop competitors from innovating."