Google’s new social networking patent is truly comical

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Google+ could be getting a lot funnier, at least in theory, if the company follows through on the approach described in a new patent.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office today awarded Google a patent on “Self-creation of comic strips in social networks and other communications.” In other words, Google has just patented the ability to create and share status updates in the form of comic strips. All told, it seems fairly straightforward: a user creates a comic about something that’s going on in their life, and then shares it with a social network.

ComicCAt least as described in the patent (which was originally filed back in 2010), the process would allow users to share a comic between a number of different social networks, including Facebook.

If Google was ever to implement the tech described in this patent, it would certainly add another potential layer to correspondence. Just imagine: it could be possible to tell someone that you accidentally shredded their favorite tie by sending them a short, humorous comic, rather than a painful email.

Depending on what Google does with it, the patent could also be a bad sign for apps like Bitstrips, which has built a business around allowing users to post silly little comics to their social networks.

Still, it’s not clear just how bright the future really is for comic updates. As anyone who has had to suffer through a News Feed full of Bitstrips can tell you, cutesy comics are funny at first, but quickly get very old.

  • Sriram Subramanian

    Please check this patent from Microsoft: http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/patog/week16/OG/html/1389-3/US08422852-20130416.html (my namesake,not me:) )

  • Terry A Davis

    C:TADTextBIBLE.TXT

    the seven lambs; 28:30 And one kid of the goats, to make an
    atonement for you.

    28:31 Ye shall offer them beside the continual burnt offering, and his
    meat offering, (they shall be unto you without blemish) and their
    drink offerings.

    29:1 And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall
    have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of
    blowing the trumpets unto you.

    29:2 And ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the
    LORD; one young bullock, one ram,

  • Jasmin Redzepagic

    Wasn’t something similar been done before? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Comic_Chat

    • Jeremy Irish

      Agreed. This is Microsoft’s Comic Chat, the unfortunate parent of Comic Sans.

      • Jasmin Redzepagic

        I am glad I am not the only one that old :)

  • Jason Thomas Carter

    There should be no problem for Bitstrips. “BA founded Bitstrips in 2007 and drives the company’s mission to give people an entertaining and visual way to communicate online.”

  • fran farrell

    If Google stays true to its principles this patent will open to all except trolls.

  • panacheart

    So if I make a little comic of myself and post it, I could be in violation of a google patent? Nonsense. Now they’re trying to patent self expression. What’s next? A patent on diaries and doodles?