If you thought you can kick start your HTML lessons by copying Google’s simple homepage on your website, beware that your website could be sued! As ridiculous as it sounds, Google has won a five and a half year battle to patent its simple and elegant looking homepage.
Why would Google do such a thing? That is because the design is indeed iconic. Look at the other search engines of today: Ask, Yahoo Search, Bing, Twitter Search, etc. and compare this with how search engines like Ask Jeeves, AltaVista and Yahoo Search looked before Google was born!
The clean search page, though it looks like a selfless service at first thought is more profitable than cluttered search pages. A cluttered search page (with links to entertainment, movies, etc. ) is going to take the users away to these pages where they might convert not well enough since it could be more of curiosity clicks rather than a need. On the other hand, a simple search box is going to first assess what the visitor is looking for and then serve relevant ads thus converting well. No wonder all the search engines of the day have been emulating the clean page model.
So, will this mean fresh lawsuits against Yahoo, Microsoft and others? I dont really think the other companies are going to give in so easily. With minor modifications in the text on the screen, it is easy for these companies to get away. Anyway, these lawsuits might take a good few years to come with a final verdict and that is a lot of time in the world of Internet!