You know how Google occasionally changes its logo to reflect some event that is completely mysterious until you click on the image?

You know what I’m talking about… Go to Google today, for instance, and you’ll see this image. Who is that guy? I didn’t know until I clicked, and was kicked into a search on Harry Houdini. (It’s his birthday!)

Well, anyway, Google somehow managed to patent this idea. Here’s the actual patent, called, “Systems and methods for enticing users to access a web site,” a definition that sounds like it can apply to anything from porn to using the word “Bieber” in your post titles.

ABC News interviewed some patent experts and techie types, some of whom thought the doodle notion wasn’t something that should be patentable, others who thought it made sense. If you ask me — and nobody did — I think Google should patent chutzpah next.

In any event, the doodles are pretty cool, patented or not. Check out the videos and links below.


Google Patents Its “Doodle” Process 24 March,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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