Let's start off with Yahoo who was granted the patent — Systems and methods for implementing person-to-person money exchange. Filed in 2000, the patent is described in it's abstract as:
Systems and methods for effecting online financial transactions between individuals or between individuals and entities such as banks, merchants and other companies. Each user accesses a fund exchange server to establish an online account, which is used to transfer funds to and from other entities' online accounts. To fund an online account, funds can be transferred to the online account from a credit card account or from another online account.
To me, this sounds somewhat simillar to Google Wallet, GPurchases, GBuy, etc. or atleast something along those lines 😉
It was just less than a week ago, that Google were granted a patent for voice interface for a search engine, and today they've awarded the patents for Document retrieval system with access control (Patent# 7,031,954) and System and method for searching and recommending objects from a categorically organized information repository (Patent# 7,031,961).
The patent, Document retrieval system with access control which was filed 9 years ago, has got me thinking about Writely, that somehow does go with reverts and rollbacks now, doesn't it? As for the second patent, System and method for searching and recommending objects from a categorically organized information repository, looks to me as though it could be a reference to a combination of Google's services like Orkut, Google Groups, Blogspot, GCal or even Personalized Search.
5 years ago, Google filed a patent for Voice Interface for a Search Engine and today they were granted the patent! According to the abstract at USPTO, the voice search engine is described as system which provides search results from a voice search query. The system receives a voice search query from a user, derives one or more recognition hypotheses, each being associated with a weight, from the voice search query, and constructs a weighted boolean query using the recognition hypotheses. The system then provides the weighted boolean query to a search system and provides the results of the search system to a user.
In November last year, I had put together a guide of google services at the time in blog-fashion and had listed the Google Voice Search (GVS) which was an early candidate of Google Labs. Since the patent was filed in Feb 2001, the Google Voice Search was tested in 2002 as a demo, but soon afterwards the service was discontinued for unknown reasons. Google's Research Publications, which details papers written by Googlers, lists a paper in PDF format by Alex Franz and Brian Milch (CS Department at University of Californmia, Berkley) titled: Searching the Web by Voice.