The Future of Search conference video where Google announced the evidence they had of Bing copying their search engine results page.
Here is Google’s original blog post about it and here is the New York Times take on things.
It brings some interesting questions that we need to think carefully about and consider the ramifications of those answers:
- Whose intellectual property are search inquiries and search results? This is something that was key in the debate around Phorm
- Is a search engine results page intellectual property? You could argue that it isn’t, but then the same was argued about software not being patentable so I imagine that this could change
- If this isn’t an intellectual property issue now, could it become one in the future, if for instance Baidu or Yandex extended successfully beyond their home markets by incorporating Google and or Bing results into their own ‘secret search sauce’?
- If it is an intellectual property issue, shouldn’t the punishment fit the crime and the record of the offender? Microsoft has for the past four decades been at the forefront of calling for harsh punishment on intellectual property infringements whilst repeatedly infringing on other people’s IP in different ways (Burst Networks, VirnetX, Uniloc, Alcatel Lucent, Go Corporation, Spyglass, Stac Electronics, Zhongyi Electronic, Eolas etc)