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With Harry Houdini doodle, Google has a curious new patent up its sleeve

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(Read caption) Google has obtained a patent for its 'doodle' logo images. This March 24 doodle commemorates the 137th anniversary of the birth of Harry Houdini.

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Lawyers! Lawyers! Step right up! The Google Doodle has been patented. After a decade of lobbying, Google has won a patent for its popular homepage doodles, which have been rolled out with increasingly regularity in recent months. (Today's Google doodle honors the famous illusionist Harry Houdini. Past logos have paid tribute to authors such as Jules Verne, video games such as Pac-Man, and movies such as "Wizard of Oz.")

Sergey Brin, the cofounder of Google, gets credit as the inventor of the patent, which has been officially dubbed the "System and Method For Enticing Users To A Web Site." (Too wordy! For our money, we prefer the more simple "doodle.") The US patent office has the full text of the Google Doodle application, but be forewarned – this thing is dense, and full of language like this:

"FIG. 9 is a diagram of examples 910-950 of special event logos according to implementations consistent with the present invention. In the example 910, a company logo is modified with a leprechaun's pot of gold for Saint Patrick's Day."

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