Google and Yahoo are the targets of a lawsuit filed this week by copier manufacturer Xerox, alleging that the top two search engines violated Xerox’s patents on search integration technology, Bloomberg News reports.
The news agency says that the specific patents involved govern the use of a technology that "automatically [generates] a query based on keyword searches," which both Google and Yahoo use in their ad content networks. Both companies also use a technology that modifies pages based on user reviews, Bloomberg News reports, which Xerox alleges that it patented as long ago as 2001.
While Yahoo has not released any official statement on the lawsuit, Google strongly disputed Xerox’s claims, with the company’s senior litigation counsel, Catherine Lacavera, telling Bloomberg News that "we believe these claims are without merit and we will defend against them vigorously."
Search engine optimization (SEO) experts say that, while it would be prejudicial to assume the results of such a legal action, the distinct lack of uproar seems to indicate the search engines are unlikely to be affected dramatically by the case.