Google has been awarded a patent on a “System and method for targeting information based on message content in a reply,” which includes the company’s practice of serving up ads based on the contents of messages sent via the Gmail service.

msgoogleMicrosoft likes to use another word for this, criticizing the practice as part of its “Scroogled” campaign.

Google doesn’t address that criticism or use that word in the patent filing, but the company does take its own subtle jabs at Microsoft in the diagrams accompanying the patent — including one (below) implying that Microsoft Access database file pose a security risk, and another that suggests alternatives to Access next to a product search for the software.

Google filed for the patent in September 2010, long before Microsoft’s “Scroogled” campaign began. The patent was officially granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office yesterday.

Google patent diagram warning of a Microsoft Access security risk.
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  • Guest

    Yup, patents are evil to Google, except of course when it comes to protecting their advertising monopoly.

  • Tim!

    I wouldn’t call this an implication that Access files pose a security risk. This is explicitly a explanation of industry-accepted best practice. Critical business resources should be stored on a central server with backups and ideally version control, not on Joe User’s workstation.

  • Guest

    Funny, how it resembles Ebenezer “Scrooge” – Same tactics maybe?

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