So you think you have a Google-killer idea? A search engine of all search engines? An invention so revolutionary that Google might buy your work? Stop and take a look around the US Patent and Trademark Office website.
Every new unique work done by a careful individual will always have his work patented by his country’s patent office. A patent by definition is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention (check Wikipedia for more details).
The US Patent and Trademark Office website showcases a complete list of all patent protected inventions from individual and businesses, as well as trademarks and intellectual property. Checking from their site I have noticed that Google has already made several patents on their past and recent works, some I have no idea what they’re for. Some of these patents are: Generating hyperlinks and anchor text in HTML and non-HTML documents, Method for searching media, Systems and methods for translating chinese pinyin to chinese characters and so much more. These patents give us an idea what Google is currently up to and we can expect something soon based on their recent patents.
All of Google’s new work is always patented to insure no one will steal their idea and they can sue those people who will deliberately copy their technology. Of course when Google made Google Maps it didn’t stop Microsoft to have their own version of Web Mapping Service Application. This is because every patent documentation is done in detail and in this way other companies having the same idea can still have their work patented as long as its not the same with the other patented works.
Next time before you claim you have invented something new, check all the similar patented work listed in USPTO to avoid any complaints from the companies and individuals who had it patented. Do you have a clever idea which you want to be protected?