from the yup,-that-patent-system-functions-just-great dept
The next problem with the article is the claim that this patent is "worth millions" and that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo "will have to pay royalties." It remains to be seen if that's true (and given what's stated, it seems quite doubtful).
Next problem? The article claims that this patent is about the address bar in the browser -- not a search engine box -- though, the reporter doesn't seem to understand the difference between the two. Admittedly, Google now offers a browser in Chrome, but the article keeps referring to the patent as a "search option." Yahoo doesn't offer a browser.
Then there's the issue of claiming that Google and Yahoo "use" this technology:
Refuah says various internet giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have been using the program for years, and now they will have to pay royalties to Netex.That implies -- falsely -- that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have somehow been using some technology that they got from Netex. It's a common trick used in reporting about patents, but its highly misleading. Much, much, much more likely is that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo simply added a useful and obvious feature, that Netex is now showing up and claiming ownership years later.
Finally, it's tough to say much about the actual patent claims in question -- seeing as we haven't seen them -- but from the Ynetnews description, it's difficult to see how such a thing could possibly be considered patentable (and one would think that Netscape would have some prior art, though I can't remember exactly when Netscape added the ability to add .com to the end of something put in the browser bar). But, honestly, can anyone with a straight face explain why such a thing should be patentable?