Google Doodles awarded patent for 'enticing users to access a website'
With the awesomely vague title "Systems and methods for enticing users to access a web site" we can only hope that Google isn't in a particularly litigious mood. Wouldn't such a patent cover animated Flash splash screens? And with the steady rise of HTML5esque Web apps and Web-based add-ons, will their shiny, enticing front pages fall under the auspices of Google's patent?
The USPTO has seen weirder days, though. Sun, the company behind Java, famously ran a contest to see which developer could secure the 'goofiest' patent -- and then there was the time that British Telecom tried to enforce a patent issued in 1976 that apparently gave it ownership of the ubiquitous HTML hyperlink. BT lost that court case, thankfully.