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Google Sued For Adding Options To Links

By: Nathan Weinberg
2007-04-25

Google has been sued, just another company facing a lawsuit for doing something that is sorta common, obvious, and a perfectly normal function of everyday software.

In this case, its adding options to a hyperlink by detecting the mouse hovering near the link and offering extra options. Besides that fact that this is similar to many other features in other projects, I cant even remember any Google product that uses it!

The patent abstract:

An enhanced hyperlink and method for providing an enhanced hyperlinked are provided. This invention permits the user to interact with a hyperlink in a variety of ways without necessarily having to open and/or follow the hyperlink. This is accomplished by detecting the presence of a cursor near a hyperlink. When the cursor has remained near the hyperlink for a predetermined time period, a toolbar is displayed containing one or more link enhancements that the user may select. In response to the users selection of a particular link enhancement, then that link enhancement function would be performed without requiring the any further action. Examples of link enhancement include, but are not limited to, opening the selected link in a new window; opening the selected link in a new window with that window minimized; creating a clickable graphic/text string, and/or icon that would enable the user to return to the selected link at a later time; or anchor the current page by creating an icon or other clickable item that would return the user to the current page; or view off-line which would, in the background download the files associated with the selected link to a memory device for viewing later off-line.

Shouldnt they be suing Snap? At least I know Snap uses this technology.

A huge thing to note: The patent was granted last week Tuesday. Geez, that was fast. So, why doesnt the Patent Office admit they merely exist to give lawsuit licenses and help create companies that do nothing useful for the economy and make software development a pain in the ass? And shouldnt their be a grace period between a patent grant and a lawsuit filing, to allow companies to stop using the patent?

And yes, there is a patent for annoying you cat with a laser pointer. I swear to god.
Oh, and a company that is suing Google is now doing the same thing it is suing Google over! Thats it, down with lawyers!

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About the Author:
Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

Visit the InsideGoogle blog.


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