1994 IBM Manual Describes 2005 Google Patent

from the looks-like-prior-art-to-me dept

theodp writes “The USPTO kicked off 2005 by awarding Google a new patent for highlighting the search term in a retrieved document by changing at least one of a color, font, style, effect, and size. But more than a decade earlier, a 1994 IBM BookManager Library Reader User’s Guide described the concept of search emphasis, the use of color or intensity to make search matches stand out from the rest of the text in a softcopy document. As such, wouldn’t it be a nice gesture if Google – who boasts they can make money without doing evil – put the patent into the Public Domain? “

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Comments on “1994 IBM Manual Describes 2005 Google Patent”

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Muse (user link) says:

Is the Google Patent Valid?

I may be missing something, but I thought that you could not patent something that was already patented
OR already described to the public.

That would suggest to me that:
1. the IBM patent would cover it
2. the the hgrep would be prior art.

See Patent Busting at http://www.eff.org/patent/contest/
Any comments?

achacha says:

No Subject Given

I had added this to a database retrieval software I was working on around 1994 to search SGML and text documents based on a set of word and highlight the words in different color when viewing the results. It’s still used in many libraries today. This Google patent is prior art.

The greatest obstacle to progress is going to be USPTO… just watch only the lawyers will benefit.

Angst says:


How right you are; but, checkout the USPTO for invidious performances: it is an office charged with limited grant(ing) of a CONSTITUTIONAL right and that charges the citizenry (which holds that right) as much as it can (albeit, by legislative fiat), claiming it operates almost entirely on user fees. When only IBM and its ilk can afford patents, only they will obtain them and the common citizen can go jump. Have you visited your friendly patent practitioner lately to tally the cost of applying for a patent? Between him/her and the PTO, better call DITECH and mortgage the kids.

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