The Russian visual search provider Quintura has been awarded a patent for a way to display search results that it claims a minor feature of Google’s search function infringes. Quintura’s eighth U.S. patent, awarded Dec. 1, covers the mapping of related concepts to a search query in a visual interface that reflects the relation between topics. Quintura CEO Yakov Sadchikov said his company plans to enforce the patent and is working with its lawyers to approach Google.
Google introduced an experimental feature back in May called Wonder Wheel that arranges related queries in a circle around a search term. When a user clicks, the display animates the shift to a new term and its related queries. Wonder Wheel is available for any search term but it’s somewhat hard to find; users must click on “show options” on a search results page and then pick it as a viewing option at the bottom of the page.
Quntura, founded in 2005, providers site search for some 4,500 online publishers for a subscription fee. Google has not yet replied to a request for comment on the matter. Update: Google said it had no comment. Do you think Google infringes? Do you think this concept should be patentable? Read the patent here and compare the images below yourself.