Bogart Communications

275 Madison Avenue, 6th Floor

New York, New York 10016


Contact:  Jeff Bogart

Bogart Communications         


For: Arnold Information Technology      For Immediate Release 

New Arnold Study Dissects Key Google Patents,
Identifies Critical Paths for Disruptive Growth

Thomas Edison, Bell Labs, and Xerox, move over and make way for Google as America’s premier R&D company. 

“Google is an applied engineering company, maybe the most skilled applied engineering company since Thomas Edison cranked out inventions more than a century ago,” says Stephen E. Arnold, president of Arnold Information Technology, in his recently issued Google Version 2.0:  The Calculating Predator,  a patent-centric study of the company. Adds Arnold, “Google’s database inventions by themselves make it clear that Google’s research unit has superseded Bell Labs and Xerox PARC as the place for technical innovation in the U.S., if not the world.”   

Arnold, whose earlier book The Google Legacy changed how many investors and technology experts view the Mountain View, Calif., company, bases his assertion on a detailed review of patents and patent applications filed by Google employees since mid 2005. The book’s index lists 90 patents and applications of the more than 200 that Arnold has identified and analyzed.  

Arnold examines more than 24 of these patents in detail in the 266-page study, identifying their technological importance and potential business impact.  These inventions signal, he says, where Google focuses its research and provide insight into areas into which Google could move.  “Telecommunications, motion pictures and entertainment, financial services, and publishing are just a few of traditional market sectors that Google can enter and disrupt without too many technical gyrations,” he says.  “Most of these market sectors are blissfully ignorant of Google’s capabilities.”  

His study is the first to use text analytics and intelligence community techniques to glean business insights from publicly available Google patent applications and patents, Arnold says, noting: 

“To my knowledge, no one has attempted the type of invention deconstruction that I have undertaken.  Also, no one has yet taken the Google technology and made an attempt to characterize what functions it can support.  The nature of patent documents is to describe certain information in ways that can be quite difficult to understand.”   

His book’s title, says Arnold, reflects Google’s love affair with mathematics, which is part of what he calls the “Google DNA.” He continues: “Google is perhaps today’s best example of a company built on calculative thinking.  Characteristics of calculative thinking include efficiency and logic, not emotional reactions.  An elegant proof of a theorem bundles intelligence and beauty into a construct of great beauty.  . . . Like a grand master in chess, Google uses strategic feints to obtain its objective—winning the game.”   

Identifying Google’s patents and patent applications is no easy task for several reasons, Arnold found.  “. . . Google does not list the company affiliation of inventors of pending patents,” the study notes.  “A search for Google patents with a query for the term Google is almost useless. . . .” 

Arnold describes his approach to this study as marrying two types of information.  “First, I have the patent applications, patents, and technical papers,” he says.  “Then I have the “soft” discussion of how selected technologies disclosed in the public patent documents seems to relate to Google’s capabilities, business tactics and products and services. . . . Each of the patent discussions is introduced by a business commentary and followed by a discussion of the possibilities the technologies described contain.” 

Calculating Predator picks up where Legacy left off in depicting Google as more than a search and advertising company.  Arnold observes in the study:  “Google Version 1.0 was the Web search and advertising company.   . . .  

“Google Version 2.0 is another creature entirely,” he adds, noting:  “I use the term Googzilla to describe the current incarnation of Google.  The idea is that Googzilla is big, powerful, and indifferent to the insects and ants crushed by its massive paws.  Google Version 2.0 shares the search and ad capabilities of Google Version 1.0, but it is much, much more. . . . With a little more effort, Google could become the largest information publishing, distributing, archiving, and retailing operation in the world.”   

Throughout the study Arnold evaluates the competitiveness with Google of companies such as Yahoo and Amazon. Its would-be competitors are no match for Googzilla, he indicates.    “Yahoo operates the computer equivalent of the Pan-Slavic movement in the early 20th century,” he says.   “Many different systems suck resources, and it’s unlikely that its existing plumbing is up to the type of algorithms that Dr. [Anna] Patterson uses [at Google]. is not in the running.  Barry Diller is too abstemious to invest massively in Google-like innovation in hardware and software.   

The study’s chapters consist of the following:  Preface; Google’s Database Technology; Digital Ninjas: Competing with Smarter Software; Brin-Page Patents: Tech Sign Posts; Google Patents from August 2005–March 2007; Achieving $100 Billion in Revenues; Google and the Programmable Search Engine; Enterprise Applications; Google As Publisher; Thwarting Google – Is It Possible?; and Looking Ahead. 

About the Author 

A sought-after consultant, popular lecturer and established author on technology, Stephen E. Arnold has six studies, or monographs, and over 50 articles appearing in a wide range of media to his credit. Among his studies are five on the Internet, including Publishing on the Internet: A New Medium for a New Millennium (1996) and New Trajectories of the Internet (2001).  These books identify trends, impacts and new technologies. Arnold, who heads, is based in the Louisville, Kentucky, suburb of Harrod’s Creek.  He will be a keynote panelist on Nov. 7, 2007, at the Enterprise Search Summit West conference in San Jose, speaking on “Giants Do Stumble:  Are Google and Microsoft in Decline?”  He will appear as a speaker on the subject of advanced search technology at VNU’s Online Information international search conference in London on December 4, 2007. 

Google Version 2.0: The Calculating Predator (Infonortics, Tetbury, England; October 2007).  Available in online PDF download version only; US$640 / €460; approx. 270 pages.  





From Google Version 2.0:  The Calculating Predator by Stephen E. Arnold, Infonortics, (, published October 2007: 


Google obviously needs revenue to expand; therefore, markets with inefficiencies that can be more efficient with Google technology are logical targets.  Analog telecommunications companies, for example, become prey to Google’s more efficient technology.  (p. 2) 

      * * * 

. . . The march toward telecommunications is a core interest of Google’s management, and it now pervades Gmail, individualized Google, Google’s capturing digital images of storefronts, and its wireless initiatives with Apple Computer, the Spanish company FON, and the sharp-minded Sprint. (p.3) 

      * * * 

. . . If anything, Google is a savvy, logical, calculating competitor. . . . (p. 5) 

      * * * 

. . . Based on my analysis of Google’s technology and its principal competitors, Google enjoys a technical lead time of nine to 24 months as of August 2007.  Google’s lead time may be greater because some competitors like Amazon make innovations by “hacking” a relatively narrow fix to a known problem.  Google, on the other hand, solves major problems such as the stability and performance of traditional relational database design.  So what a competitor touts as a solution may be a stopgap.  So, in a sense, the larger engineering gap between Amazon and Google is not being closed in a significant way. . . . (p 8) 

      * * * 

Google embraces scale.  Wal*Mart and Exxon are similar to Google because these two companies understand scale. . . . Scale distances competitors technically, financial, and conceptually.  In online, Google scales.  Yahoo cannot scale, and the turmoil at the company, indeed within its ad business that Google copied and then improved upon, makes it a distant second to Google for the foreseeable future. (p 9) 

      * * * 

Google Applications:  I have a separate 50-page monograph in preparation on this topic.  The complexity of the 14 Google inventions in this field requires a different editorial approach and more complex diagrams than possible in this monograph.  (p 11) 

Google’s Database Technology 

. . . The database—sometimes called Bigtable—is not for a desktop PC or a standard office server.  Bigtable manages data across thousands of machines and uses intelligent algorithms that make decisions without the involvement of a database administrator.  . . . Google’s database technology gives the company an advantage in online services, and it also makes it possible at some point in time to compete with traditional database vendors’ systems. (p 14) 

      * * * 

. . . What’s revolutionary is that Bigtable can scale. . . . 

Bigtable is a distributed storage system for structured data.  Bigtable, at this time, is not a commercial database. . . . Google invented its own distributed lock server to minimize interprocess lock management traffic.  We’ll look at this server, Chubby, later in this chapter.  (p 14)  

      * * * 

. . . [T] Google database is stable and getting stronger as it does more heavy lifting.  At last count, more than 60 Google services used the Google database. (p 15) 

      * * * 

Google, as we know it, would not exist without a database system. . . . 

Here’s a checklist of what Google’s database must be capable of doing:  . . . (pp. 16-17) 

      * * * 

The single most impressive demonstration of the Bigtable technology is Google Earth. (p 18) 

      * * * 

The size of the Google tables and the specialized operations that programmers perform created a need for Google to develop a programming language for Bigtable.  To fill this void, Google created Sawzall, a programming language that permits analysis in the Bigtable system. . . . (p 26) 

      * * * 

Other key points about Sawzall include: . . . the language can apply to data sets typically associated with network logs, telephone call records, and document repositories.  In light of Google’s interest in VoIP and mobile communications, Sawzall may be a pivotal tool for the company’s developers.  (pp. 26-27) 

      * * * 

A review of Google’s patents and patent applications from 1998 to March 7, 2007 reveals a number of database-related “inventions”.  Of these more than 150 patents and applications, five provide additional insight into what Google’s database technology encompasses.   (p 27) 

      * * * 

In short, this is the patent for the Google File System.  Competitors who ignored Google’s innovations for enhancing the performance and reducing the costs associated with old-style file systems now find themselves in a tough spot. . . (p 34) 

Brin-Page Patents:  Tech Sign Posts 

This section presents the argument that the patent applications and patents authored by Sergey Brin and Larry Page provide valuable information about key areas of technical investment at Google.  . . . Three specific patents are discussed briefly.  . . . The second is Google’s early work in mobile search . . . . Conventional wisdom depicts Google’s innovation as random and almost without shared goals.  The received wisdom is wrong.  Google is a very focused company in terms of its research, development, and innovation. (p 64) 

      * * * 

. . . Notice that neither Brin nor Page participate in inventions related to advertising.  Advertising produces money but may be less interesting than their personal inventions.  (p. 74) 

      * * * 

As we look back at the Brin-Page inventions with the advantage of hindsight, three patents stand out from the others.  Each is related to search yet each opens new windows into Google’s core technologies for its computing infrastructure, its Googleplex. 

These three areas of interest are: 

  1. Database technology in general and extraction in particular
  2. Voice interface for search
  3. Method for search media, regardless of type. . . .   (p. 76)

      * * * 

Page’s patent is the foundation for Google’s subsequent inventions in structured content, phrase extraction, and advanced database applications.  The “invention” . . . is a roadmap for Google’s R&D team for the period from 2003 to the present. . . . (p. 81) 

[Editor’s Note:  a two-page table at pp 83-84 lists 16 Brin-Page patent applications and patents] 

Google’s Patent Tactics:  Unique, Deep, and Wide 

This section is an update of Google’s patent applications since July 2005. . . . We review how a patent that might be viewed as peripheral to Google’s core technology actually reveals insight into the potential payoff from Google’s innovation system as well as opens the door to a potential new business opportunity—thus getting a preview of where Google’s innovation, as expressed in patent applications, is concentrated.  Finally, the discussion explores two patent clusters:  one related to phrase identification and one related to online advertising. . . . (p. 85) 

      * * * 

. . . Google files clusters of loosely-coupled “inventions” that are often labeled in ways to make the substance of the patent difficult to ascertain.  A series of important patents related to natural language processing were filed shortly after Google hired Anna Patterson, . . . Now part of the Google team, Dr. Patterson developed a breakthrough approach to natural language processing that has gone unnoticed in the trade and technical press.  . . . [K]eep in mind that Google did not announce Dr. Patterson’s hiring under wraps.  Dr. Patterson herself maintains a low profile.  The net effect is that Google’s stepped-up activity in NLP has gone unnoticed by many Google watchers and (one presumes) by the search wizards at its major competitors.  

. . . Her [Patterson’s] approach has been to focus on techniques that use a variety of statistical and linguistic clues to allow a system to understand nuances of indexed content.  (p. 92) 

      * * * 

. . . In 2004 she began filing patent applications for what is called “phrase-based indexing”.  Additional patent filings followed so that she is considered the inventor of a series of systems and methods used for search and retrieval.  

These [six] patents form an important part of Google’s rich text processing capabilities:  (p. 92) 

[Editor’s Note:  the book discusses six Patterson patents.] 

. . .  [T]he basic idea is that phrases can be evaluated and scored for relevance. . . .  

What’s important about the Xift patents is that the system takes a query for Australian shepherds and returns relevant results about border collies, even though the query and the result do not share any terms in common. . . . (p 95) 

      * * * 

. . . Google’s existing processes create opportunities for additional profit maximization.  Dr. Koningstein and his co-inventors have figured out how to seize these revenue opportunities and use algorithmic processes to generate better results for advertisers and more revenue for Google.  

      * * * 

We will discuss five Koningstein inventions.  . . .  

      * * *  

. . . In his series of interlocking inventions, Dr. Koningstein has invented a series of processes that make online advertising more like a video game than the dry exercise of buying a classified listing in a local newspaper.  . . . 

. . . It is likely that the more game-like the Google advertising system becomes, the more advertisers will become “hooked” on the Google approach. . . . As Google’s reach in advertising extends beyond online, the Google system is likely to become a far larger threat to established media buying channels than it is presently.” (p 105) 

Looking Ahead 

Google is no longer a search company. Google has evolved into a network platform with multiple revenue-generating options. . . . (p. 234) 

      * * * 

. . . No one has taken steps to challenge Google in a meaningful way because no one understands that Google is not a Web search company supported by advertising.  

Google is the next-generation computing platform. (p. 241) 

      * * * 

. . . No company since the pre-breakup AT&T has operated at such an effective, monopolistic scale.  Telecommunication companies worldwide are largely unaware that Google can compete with them at any time of Google’s choosing.  (p 242) 

      * * * 

Unlike most corporations, Google can be anywhere and make a case that under the jurisdiction of the country in which the service operates, the regulators in another country are powerless to impose operational penalties on Google.  If stringent action is taken against Google, the courts are available to Google for a ruling.  Few judges are able to make much sense of a Web page.  Abstract transactional services based on non-fungible network functions are going to take a long time to resolve in a court of law.  If Google loses, there’s the appeal process in most countries.  So, in practical terms, Google is able to operate outside the boundaries of a traditional corporation. 

As the first supranational corporation, Google is going to be a slippery fish to manage.  U.S. and European regulators are not likely to be able to tame Google quickly.  However, other countries may take a different approach.  China and India represent a different type of challenge to Google.  We’ll look at one possible scenario in which China confronts Google and brings Google to heel.”  (p. 245)