10 Weird Patents That Google Owns


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Social Networking Updates by Comic Strips
The comic strip Google is proposing is not as detailed or colorful as this one, but could be just as entertaining. © John Richardson/Illustration Works/Corbis

Back in ancient times — in online social networking terms, that's about 2006 — it was really cool to post a text message on Facebook to inform all your friends that you were vacationing in Hawaii, starting a new job or getting a mole removed at the dermatologist's office. (OK, some people do share a little too much information.)

But now that we've all read countless status updates, that medium has gotten a little, well, mundane. That may be why Google in 2010 filed a patent for a technology called "Self-Creation of Comic Strips in Social Networks and Other Communications." The latter would allow a social network user to post a multipanel cartoon online across a variety of networks.

According to the patent application, a user would select a theme, and the software would offer a cartoon, plus a title and text which the user could alter to suit [source: Sampath]. Google, which was awarded the patent in 2013, hasn't yet marketed the comic-creating app [source: Frank].

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