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Google Patents Caching MLK Day Search Results 113

theodp writes "Google remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not only with its Doodles, but also with its patents. 'Right around the Martin Luther King Holiday,' explained Google in its application for a recently-granted patent on Discovery of Short-Term and Emerging Trends in Computer Network Traffic, 'there may be many searches about "Martin Luther King"...Thus, it would be useful to have better methods of detecting short term trends for the purposes of caching search results to making them more readily available to users.' You may call the invention of detecting and caching 'MLK Day Sale' search results patently obvious, but the USPTO calls it U.S. Patent No. 8,082,342. Hey, at least it's arguably better than the patents issued to Microsoft and Google for avoiding walking or driving down Martin Luther King Boulevard!"
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Google Patents Caching MLK Day Search Results

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  • by TechGuys ( 2554082 ) on Monday January 16, 2012 @11:43AM (#38713904)
    These granted software patents are ridiculous. Patenting detection of trending topics and search queries? Jeez. Companies like Google and Apple are collectively abusing the system and patenting every single thing they can think of, most of which are outright obvious.

    The worst thing is that like copyrights, U.S. is trying to spread patents (including software patents) all over the world. They've been trying to get European Union to join them for a long time now. At least we've still resisted, even though it is getting there.

    And you know what will happen? Countries like India and China will only strengthen their positions. When companies in the US and Europe have huge overhead costs going to lawyers, have to avoid good techniques in their products because someone has patented it already, and are spending time in courts, Chinese and Indians will just laugh and grow to dominate the world markets. U.S. knows this. They know it very well because after all, they blatantly ignored all European copyrights and that's how they got their power. And don't think even for a second that the Chinese don't know history or are afraid to use the same advantage. In a way US is like the old media companies and RIAA/MPAA.. so adjusted to their ways and existing powers that they just can't move forward with the rest of the world anymore.

    It's time to get rid of all software patents and this constant abuse by corporations.
  • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:00PM (#38714080)

    There's some truth in it. In every city I've been in with a MLK Blvd, it's somewhere you don't want to be. I've heard a black comedian say as much in a piece. When moving to Baltimore, a friend of mine -- who's quite liberal, has gone to the Occupy protests, etc. -- told me: "Look, here's a map of town. See this diagonal road? It's MLK. Don't go on the other side of it."

    Perhaps not all of them are this way, but enough of them are.

  • by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:03PM (#38714110)

    I think it's a little misguided to read this article and say "trololol, software patents, we should kill those." Yes, we should -- but this patent isn't bad necessarily because it's on software.

    This patent's bad because it's obvious, which is a far broader problem with the patent system. Anybody who understands what caching is and who was presented with the problem "Hey, we're getting overwhelmed by holiday-specific searches on those holidays" would come up with something like this as a solution.

  • by Synerg1y ( 2169962 ) on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:06PM (#38714130)

    Technically, it's the creators of the patent system's fault for not envisioning the internet, search engines, code base, or virtual data. You can then go on to blame the government for not having a better system for revising the patent's system's faults. Or you can do nothing...

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson