The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published a patent application from Google that seeks to secure the rights to a cloud printing service.
The document, which was filed in March of last year, describes the Cloud Print service as one that is integrated into Google's Chrome web browsers.
"A print server may include an application manager configured to receive a print request over a network from an application executing on a device, and configured to provide, over the network, a print dialog to a user of the application […] A print job router may be configured to route the print job over the network from the print server to a print client associated with the selected printer, for printing by the selected printer, using the printer-specific format."
Included in the patent are claims to an application manager that authenticates a user via a user account. While cloud print is often seen as a technology to enable users to print from anywhere without a direct, physical connection, Google argues that there is a different benefit to cloud printing, which offers a solution to "conventional printers and printing paradigms [that] often provide a fragmented, expensive, resource-intensive, potentially unpredictable user experience which is sub-optimal at best and unworkable at worst for many users." Google argues that cloud print via a browser solves the problem of providing and maintaining printer drivers for various platforms, including smartphones, which "may have limited or no resources to execute a print driver." As a result, customer may see a benefit of "increased printing options and abilities," while printer manufacturers will not have to release as many driver updates for as many platforms as they had to do in the past.
In related news, Google has also filed a patent that largely covers the recently updated Omnibox location bar in the browser. The document describes Google's technology to provide the user a dynamically updated listing of search suggestions that are pulled from the history of prior search queries.