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Google Patents WYSIWYG Printing for Web Apps

By - Source: USPTO | B 13 comments
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Google has won a critical patent to support web applications.

The USPTO granted the company the rights to a WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") printing approach, which an actual preview of pages that are requested to be printed from any web application.

Google applied for the document already in December of 2006, well before the firm released its Chrome web browser, which basically carries the core of this technology today. According to the patent, which was granted earlier this week, the rights include "access to printer settings, [and] display settings." The company uses "printer meta UIs [to provide] a web based application with the capability to lay out or format printed documents."

What makes this patent interesting is Google's idea how closely this patent is related to a web browser, more than two years before Chrome's initial release. Rival browsers such as IE9 or Firefox 14 still use the native printing menu in Windows, even if IE9 has a slightly optimized printing menu that enables the user to, for example, tailor the print layout to be optimized for a WYSIWYG view. However, there is no visual WYSIWYG implementation, which is only available in Chrome at this time.

According to the patent, a WYSIWYG implementation, however, can improve the user experience and is desirable especially since "a web page can have a different layout on different computers, different displays, and different printers". Google's solution comprises a "container application" that "obtains a web based application from an application server" and a "web based application [that is] then run inside the container application." The layout module itself takes advantage of the printer settings component to "produce a printed document that looks substantially the same as the displayed document" with the exception of "fonts appearing slightly different".

We have lived with the standard printer menu in Windows for decades and they have worked just fine. This Google patent, however, is critical for the use and convenience in web applications, at least for now and at least as long as we are printing content from a web browser when we can expect the printed document to not exactly replicate what we see on the screen. In the range of web applications, this patent is a considerable win for Google.

 

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Vladislaus , August 27, 2012 6:51 PM
    weierstrassAt some point they (Apple, Google, Samsung,...) are all forced to trade patents for patents and the world will be a fine place again.

    Perhaps it will be a fine place for big companies, the same cannot be said about the smaller ones.
  • 10 Hide
    Crush3d , August 27, 2012 7:16 PM
    fb39ca4Stupid patent is stupid. Google, we thought you were above this.


    Everyone has to start playing the game and patent anything and everything before their competitors do. Patent shapes, colors, patterns, buttons.. EVERYTHING.

    If you try to play nice now, you won't be playing at all in a few years.
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    weierstrass , August 27, 2012 6:43 PM
    At some point they (Apple, Google, Samsung,...) are all forced to trade patents for patents and the world will be a fine place again.
  • Display all 13 comments.
  • 12 Hide
    Vladislaus , August 27, 2012 6:51 PM
    weierstrassAt some point they (Apple, Google, Samsung,...) are all forced to trade patents for patents and the world will be a fine place again.

    Perhaps it will be a fine place for big companies, the same cannot be said about the smaller ones.
  • 0 Hide
    fb39ca4 , August 27, 2012 7:01 PM
    Stupid patent is stupid. Google, we thought you were above this.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 27, 2012 7:03 PM
    Besides, it don't work. Chrome routinely screws up printing and I have to use the sys dialog anyway
  • 10 Hide
    Crush3d , August 27, 2012 7:16 PM
    fb39ca4Stupid patent is stupid. Google, we thought you were above this.


    Everyone has to start playing the game and patent anything and everything before their competitors do. Patent shapes, colors, patterns, buttons.. EVERYTHING.

    If you try to play nice now, you won't be playing at all in a few years.
  • 3 Hide
    JamesSneed , August 27, 2012 7:30 PM
    The patent wars begun they have.

    So you print something from a web page and the hard copy looks the same? What a concept. The US patent system is so jacked up. Google is no patent troll and I don't blame them one bit with the state of the patent system today. Software should be something that is copyrighted not a patented. I just don't understand why that one simple rule is not in effect already.
  • 6 Hide
    Camikazi , August 27, 2012 7:35 PM
    fb39ca4Stupid patent is stupid. Google, we thought you were above this.

    It all depends on what they do with it, if they patent it but still allow this to be used by others for no or little cost then I support them. Honestly though I would rather have MS or Google patent things like this rather than give a chance for Apple to get it, at least the previous 2 have history of allowing others to license or use their patented ideas for free.
  • 6 Hide
    aracheb , August 27, 2012 8:12 PM
    CamikaziIt all depends on what they do with it, if they patent it but still allow this to be used by others for no or little cost then I support them. Honestly though I would rather have MS or Google patent things like this rather than give a chance for Apple to get it, at least the previous 2 have history of allowing others to license or use their patented ideas for free.


    This 2 before mentioned company practices healthy competition, Apple does not.
  • 8 Hide
    shqtth , August 27, 2012 10:12 PM
    Google Patents things to protect themselves. Apple has patents to sue competition.
  • 1 Hide
    postal_game , August 28, 2012 12:12 AM
    Recently one of the computer in my office has problem related to Google WYSIWYG (the preview not showing and i can't print through chrome), and after searching from internet, many said that it's because of bugs that has not been fixed by Google Chrome. Finally i decided to go back to firefox and using standard windows preview... LOL..
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , August 28, 2012 1:06 AM
    I noticed that if you print a continuous webpage from Chrome, it will cut it in the middle of the letters. Firefox cut it neatly between the line of text.

    WYSIWIG eh?....
  • 0 Hide
    markem , August 28, 2012 3:35 AM
    Take that silly Apple, MS and Nokia
  • 0 Hide
    hannibal , August 28, 2012 2:12 PM
    Crush3dEveryone has to start playing the game and patent anything and everything before their competitors do. Patent shapes, colors, patterns, buttons.. EVERYTHING.If you try to play nice now, you won't be playing at all in a few years.


    Google is web based company. If it does not patent web based funktions, somene else will and forse Google down... But yeah, it is stupid that you can patent something like wysigwy...
    There should be lwas that protect against patenting these kinds of thing: wysugwy, rentagle, small computers that are narrower in the other end, and so on...