The patent, originally filed in 2011 but granted on Tuesday, could enable the search engine to finesse ‘second screen’ searches for content related to what’s showing on TV by identifying the exact programme being viewed at the time of the search. This could enable Google to provide search results on a second screen that better match what the user is searching for, even if he or she does not enter precise search terms.
The patent has been awarded for a “system and method for enhancing user search results by determining a television programme currently being displayed in proximity to an electronic device”.
According to the abstract, US Patent 8,839,303 describes “a computer implemented method for using search queries related to television programmes. A server receives a user’s search query from an electronic device. The server then determines, in accordance with the search query and television programme related information for television programmes available at a location associated with the electronic device during a specific time window, a television programme currently being displayed in proximity to the electronic device, wherein the television programme related information includes programme descriptions for a plurality of television programmes being broadcast for the associated location.”