Well, I’ve heard it suggested before from Mike Meiresonne (owner of IQS), but now I see he’s serious: Industrial Quick Search is suing Google over a patent infringement.
IQS’s business directories are pretty simple, showing paid advertisers in a list, essentially unchanged since the early 2000s (just like those Classmates pop-ups at the Mlive.com link above). The important thing is that when you roll over a company listing, you see a ‘preview ad’ on the side. This roll-over preview effect is what Meiresonne has a patent on.
The “Supplier Identification and Locator System and Method” patent governs the display of advertisements or directory listings when an Internet user hovers the computer mouse over a company name.
I know IQS’s rival ThomasNet copied this for a while, and Google was doing roll-over previews of websites in their organic search around 2009. As far as I can tell, neither is doing this right now. But a past violation of a patent is still a violation. At least IQS isn’t a patent troll, they actually use what they have a patent for.
“One of the interesting things about this invention is that you don’t need a Ph.D to understand it,” said Abbatt. “So many people can readily go online see what it does, and if you follow the text of the patent, you can see what we’re talking about.”
So while the directory business continues to be marginalized by the rest of the internet, it may be as good a time as any to take on the obvious winner for some chump change in the ‘Google rules, directories drool’ battle, as I nicknamed it eight years ago.
(Interestingly, I found this news in MLive, our local newspaper website, since IQS and B2Blog are in the same region. Googling about the suit, I find very little posted about it elsewhere. Either software lawsuits are too boring or commonplace to garner it being truly newsworthy.)