Google Data Aggregation: Chunks of Patents, Acquisitions

People, after reading Facebook’s just-released public S1 doc to the SEC, wondered why Facebook chalked its $1B annual profit to the vague term, advertising. Not me. Facebook, like, Google, is a data aggregator. Wondering what IP is in this field and what’s coming, I took a virtual trip through the USPTO.
And the pieces come together.

In the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database, Stephen J. Brockman and Michael G. Ludlow, who originally designed it for assignee Symphony Service Corp, now has an issued patent in Google’s enormous collection of patents and deals around patent aggregation.
Take a swing through the online United States Patent Office and you’ll see Google’s fat stack of data aggregation patents. You’ll never again wonder what happens to your personal data — or what will happen to it in the future. Here’s the IP – what Google has available to build out its already huge data aggregation business. Read it closely — and imagine what the claims mean to you in future products.

Here is what Google is either locking up or licensing like a “not evil company,” as it claims. I had no problem finding the patents — not only in the USPTO site, but also through regular Google search. Here’s a screen shot of what I found, then links to the first few data aggregation patents Google owns … Discussion below.

  1. Patent US20070027930 – Universal data aggregation – Google

    Limitations of data aggregation as a result of proprietary and/or protocol concerns are Go to Google Patents Home  Search USPTO Assignment Database 

  2. Patent US20020015480 – Flexible multi-network voice/data – Google

    Flexible multi-network voice/data aggregation system architecture. Neil Daswani et al Application Information: Download USPTO Public PAIR data · Read this 

    You visited this page on 2/2/12.
  3. Patent US20020184170 – Hosted data aggregation and  – Google

    A system and method for data aggregation and content management are disclosed. In addition  Application Information: Download USPTO Public PAIR data 

  4. [PDF]

    Mapping (USPTO) Patent Data using Overlays of Google Maps

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    by L Leydesdorff – 2011 – Related articles
    Mapping (USPTO) Patent Data using Overlays to Google Maps ….. 1b (on the right side) corrects for this aggregation effect by fractionizing the number of 

  5. [PDF]

    Launching the USPTO Economics Research Agenda

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    Sep 10, 2010 – Much of the USPTO’s data has already been made available to the public for free via partnership with Google, with more data and parsing tools 

  6. Patent US20030009443 – Generic data aggregation – Google Patents

    The inventive method includes filtering the data, classifying the data, and generically Go to Google Patents Home  Search USPTO Assignment Database 

  7. Kayak, Orbitz . . . Google? Oh My!

    Oct 21, 2010 – If you ask the average Internet user what Google is, most people  and travel data aggregation to be related enough to online search, then 

  8. Patent US20050097150 – Data aggregation – Google Patents

    An apparatus for aggregating data and for building a virtual data model 4 of an organisation’s  Application Information: Download USPTO Public PAIR data 

  9. Researchers map USPTO patent data using Google maps…/researchers-map-uspto-patent-…

    Nov 16, 2011 – Researchers map USPTO patent data using Google maps  The researchers correct for this aggregation effect by fractionizing the number of 

  10. Google Inc. patents (GOOG)

    GOOG, Google, 20120022818, 20120126, Aggregating mobile device battery …. Thisdata is also published to the public by the USPTO and available for free on 


Data aggregation is huge money, and Google has more than a dozen issued data aggregation patents.

Google bought the world’s largest aggregation software engine company last year. That was Postrank, of Waterloo, Canada, which at the time claimed it was the largest social engagement data aggregator ever. More on them below.

If the battle, revenue-wise, is going to be about Google vs. Facebook in terms of data aggregation power, the best place to figure out the winner is at the USPTO. After a one-hour search tonight — brief, I know — you’ll see that Google has IP protecting its collection of anonymized data from anyone coming through Google Maps, Gmail, Google +. Search, YouTube and/or various other of its services,

The mind boggles. Google collects a lot of data points on everyone who comes through. It has patented and is actively protecting via US and international patent law a boatload of ways to monetize information about its visitors, USPT records show. I’m interested in what data aggregation patents Facebook holds, if any. If it doesn’t, I’d like to see how much Facebook is paying Google for the licensing privileges. Hang on for that.

Here’s a sampling of exactly what Google processes the firm has patented for collecting data points on people, anonymising and selling them in aggregated form.

It is all there at the USPTO — available for you to download.

Note that it took just minutes to find these patents — there’s no intentional hiding going on here, as some reports suggested this week. These patents had +1 buttons (see the image at the top of this story). Sheesh!

People wonder why Facebook is vague in explaining its recently disclosed $1B in revenue using the general, advertising. This is why. Facebook is in the same business, remember. It’s about getting to know you, anonymising all your habits, purchases, travels, tags, locations and, eventually, shopping habits — and selling that to ad companies for delivering deeply targeted advertising. This is not rocket science, gang.

That this is a surprise to anyone surprises me, so I thought I’d show everyone what the social aggregation market is and what IP Google and Facebook hold there.

This is first in a series.


Regarding the search-aggregation powerhouse company Google bought in June 2011, here is an excerpt from CBR’s excellent coverage on the topic.

CBR Staff Writer Published 06 June 2011

PostRank CTO and founder calls it a win-win deal 

Social engagement data aggregator PostRank has said that it has been acquired by Google.

Terms of the PostRank deal were not disclosed.

Recently, Google chief Eric Schmidt had said that the search engine company had missed out on the social networking opportunity.

He had said, “Four years ago, I wrote memos and I did nothing about those… CEOs should take responsibility. I screwed up.”

Launched in 2007 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, PostRank claims that it is the largest aggregator of social engagement data in the industry.

It says on its website, “Our platform tracks where and how users engage, and what they pay attention to — in real time.”

“PostRank social engagement data measures actual user activity, the most accurate indicator of the relevance and influence of a site, story, or author.”

PostRank CTO and founder Ilya Grigorik wrote on the startup’s blog, “We are extremely excited to join Google.”

Grigorik said conversations online are an important signal for advertisers, publishers, developers and consumers — but today’s tools only skim the surface of what we think is possible.

Grigorik said, “We believe there is simply no better company on the Web today that both understands the value of the engagement data we have been focusing on, and has the platform and reach to bring its benefits to the untold millions of daily, active Internet users.”