It took more than 10 years, but after filing for a patent that covers “the use of an animated story line or a modified/customized company logo (“special event logo”) displayed on a web page” in April 2001, the U.S. Patent Office today finally granted Google’s Sergey Brin a patent for the company’s iconic Doodles.
Google Doodles are the variations on the company’s logo that it puts on its homepage to celebrate holidays and other special events.
Google clearly thought ahead when it filed for the patent, because it doesn’t just include static images, but also animated objects, as well as video and audio information. These days Google changes its company logo almost daily and actually has a number of employees who do nothing but create these images.
As far as patents go, this “invention” is pretty ridiculous. There is more to the patent than just the Doodles, though. It also covers the use of “an animated story line or a modified/customized company logo (“special event logo”) displayed on a web page. The story line may change periodically (e.g., hourly, daily, or weekly) to entice users to repeatedly access the web page to view the next episode in the changing story line.” So far, Google has not done this yet. While it has it has experimented with interactive logos in the past, the logos always remained the same throughout the day.
My favorite part of the patent’s text is this explanation of the Google Doodle as “a company logo [that] is modified with animated characters celebrating New Year’s Day. In the example 930, a company logo is modified with a turkey for Thanksgiving. In the example 940, a company logo is modified with a voter’s button for Election Day. Finally, in the example 950, a company logo is modified with an animated character for the Olympics.”