I've been reading through a study of Google's patents prepared by Stephen Arnold entitled Google Version 2.0: The Predator.
Mr. Arnold displays a forensic expert's scalpel in teasing out the possible market purposes and alignments amongst and across various Google patents, where they might lead and how Google may be positioning itself. I'm particularly intrigued by his thoughts on Google's ad, mobile and payment efforts.
Beyond Google, the methodology Mr. Arnold demonstrates is intriguing for intellectual property (IP) lawyers, investors, social community activists and enthusiasts everywhere.
Will it be increasingly possible for our collective intelligence (Doug Engelbart's embracing vision) to map alignments amongst and across patents in a faster, more cohesive way, using common online iconography and ontology services? Will following the money divulged through patent filings be easier than combing through press releases and quarterly SEC financial reports? Will the patent filings themselves become the basis for future shareholder rights and corporate social responsibility litigation, and fuller disclosure in online licensing of privacy, spam, content surveillance and other actions focused on the Webbed privacy and security intrusion policies "accepted" by each of our browsers as our agents?
Certainly, the Google patents will be widely read, along with those of Microsoft, IBM, HP, eBay and other big technology players, and in the reading will provide ample ground for new ways to coagulate raw governmental filings into meaningful corporate patterns of social, financial and otherwise purposeful influence.