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The Patent Behind Searching Quotes of Entities Has Been Modified by Continuation Patent Again
When Google updates some processes, they may file an updated patent to protect the intellectual property behind the process. This may mean filing a patent where most of the description for the patent is identical or nearly a duplicate to earlier versions of the patent. Titles sometimes change a little, but the list of authors mostly remains the same (I have seen one where a new author was added.)
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Google’s patent “Systems and methods for searching quotes of entities using a database” has been updated a second time. To try to understand what has changed involved reading through the patent’s claims and seeing how the description behind how the patent works has changed.
When the USPTO decides whether or not to grant a patent, they have prosecuting agents go through the claims to see if they are new, non-obvious, and useful. Since a continuation patent is trying to update the protection and use the date of the original patent as the start of the exclusion period, the patent agent makes sure that those new claims are valid before granting a continuation patent.
I first wrote about this patent in an earlier post at Go Fish Digital: Google Searching Quotes of Entities. If you want a good idea of how the process behind that patent worked when it came out originally, I would recommend reading through that post before you go too much further here.
I followed up with a post at SEObythesea: Quote Searching Updated at Google to Focus on Videos. It describes the changes to the process described in the claims to the post, after the first continuation patent.
Those claims have been updated again and provide hints at how Google treats entity information that may have been initially kept in the knowledge graph.
Comparing Claims From The Searching Quotes of Entities Patent Versions
August 8, 2017 – Systems and methods for searching quotes of entities using a database:
1. A computerized system for searching and identifying quotes, the system comprising: a memory device that stores a set of instructions; and at least one processor that executes the set of instructions to: receive a search query for a quote from a user; parse the query to identify one or more key words; match the one or more key words to knowledge graph items associated with candidate subject entities in a knowledge graph stored in one or more databases, wherein the knowledge graph includes a plurality of items associated with a plurality of subject entities and a plurality of relationships between the plurality of items; determine, based on the matching knowledge graph items, a relevance score for each of the candidate subject entities; identify, from the candidate subject entities, one or more subject entities for the query based on the relevance scores associated with the candidate subject entities; identify a set of quotes corresponding to the one or more subject entities; determine quote scores for the identified quotes based on at least one of the relationship of each quote to the one or more subject entities, the recency of each quote, or the popularity of each quote; select quotes from the identified quotes based on the quote scores; and transmit information to a display device to display the selected quotes to the user.
February 5, 2019 – Systems and methods for searching quotes of entities using a database:
1. A method comprising the following operations performed by one or more processors: receiving audio content from a client device of a user; performing audio analysis on the audio content to identify a quote in the audio content; determining the user as an author of the audio content based on recognizing the user as the speaker of the audio content; identifying, based on words or phrases extracted from the quote, one or more subject entities associated with the quote; storing, in a database, the quote, and an association of the quote to the subject entities and to the user being the author; subsequent to storing the quote and the association: receiving, from the user, a search query; parsing the search query to identify that the search query requests one or more quotes by the user about one or more of the subject entities; identifying, from the database and responsive to the search query, a set of quotes by the user corresponding to the one or more of the subject entities, the set of quotes including the quote; selecting the quote from the quotes of the set based at least in part on the recency of each quote; and transmitting, in response to the search query, information for presenting the selected quote to the user via the client device or an additional client device of the user.
Compare those first two claims to the first claim from the newest version of the patent, which was granted earlier this week. It has a few changes from the first two versions.
February 15, 2022 – Systems and methods for searching quotes of entities using a database:
1. A computer system, the system comprising: a memory device that stores a set of instructions; and at least one processor that executes the set of instructions to: retrieve an electronic resource, wherein the electronic resource is a webpage or is a document; parse the electronic resource to identify one or more key words; match the one or more key words to a subject entity from a subject entity database; identify a plurality of quotes based on the subject entity of the subject entity database, wherein each quote of the plurality of quotes is identified from an additional electronic resource comprising a webpage; identify an additional subject entity that is associated with the subject entity of the subject entity database; select a subset of the identified plurality of quotes based on the subset of the identified quotes being associated with the additional subject entity; determine quote scores for the subset of identified quotes, wherein each of the quote scores is for a corresponding one of the quotes of the subset and is determined based on one or multiple of: a relationship of the corresponding quote to the subject entity, a recency of the corresponding quote, and a popularity of the corresponding quote; select, based on the quote scores, a quote from the subset of identified quotes; and transmit information to a client device accessing the electronic resource, wherein transmitting the information causes the client device to display the selected quote and a selectable hyperlink to the webpage from which the selected quote was identified.
The titles of the patents haven’t changed, and no authors were added. The Drawings and most of the descriptions are the same.
- The first claim refers to “matching keywords to knowledge graph items.”
- The second First Claim does not include the knowledge graph and says that the process is about “performing audio analysis on the audio content to identify a quote in the audio content.”
- The Newest First Claim replaces the knowledge graph from the first version when it says it will “match the one or more keywords to a subject entity from a subject entity database.”
- Unlike the first two versions, the Newest First Claim describes making the quote information attributable.
So I Am Left With Questions About Searching Quotes of Entities
- Why is a subject entity database introduced, and why might that be different from the knowledge graph? It sounds like it could be a thesaurus of information that isn’t browseable and transparent to searchers the way that information from the knowledge graph might be. Is other information about entities kept separate from the knowledge graph, too, until it is decided how best to display that information?
- Where are the quotes stored? The second first claim tells us that audio content is analyzed instead of looking in the knowledge graph. In the third first claim, searching quotes of entities is done by looking through quotes in the subject entity database. When I first read the second version of the patent, I took it to mean that information about the quotes was kept in an index of video information. It is, however, likely that Google may have information about some quotes that it doesn’t necessarily have a video for.
- Where is quote information coming from? The third first claim tells us that it may provide to the searcher a “selectable hyperlink to the webpage from which the selected quote was identified.” The two earlier versions state that the quote may be presented to a searcher but does not mention in any way providing attribution to the source of the quote or information about it. Attribution now seems more important to Google, where the second first claim seemed to assume that information may be coming from YouTube.
The Newest Version of the Searching Quotes of Entities Patent
Systems and methods for searching quotes of entities using a database
Inventors: Eyal Segalis, Gal Chechik, Yossi Matias, Yaniv Leviathan, and Yoav Tzur
Assignee: GOOGLE LLC
US Patent: 11,250,052
Granted: February 15, 2022
Filed: December 26, 2018
Systems and methods are provided for searching and identifying quotes in response to a query from a user.
Consistent with certain embodiments, systems and methods are provided for identifying one or more subject entities associated with the query and identifying, from a database or search results obtained in response to the query, a set of quotes corresponding to the one or more subject entities.
Further, systems and methods are provided for determining quote scores for the identified quotes based on at least one of the relationships of each quote to the one or more subject entities, the recency of each quote, and the popularity of each quote.
Additionally, systems and methods are provided for organizing the identified quotes in a rank order based on the quote scores and selecting quotes based on the rank order or the quote scores. In addition, systems and methods are provided for transmitting information to display the selected quotes on a display device.
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