Trade secrets come in a variety of forms, such as research results, inventions, processes, software algorithms, and product ingredients. Some examples of trade secrets are the KFC recipe for herbs and spices and the Google search algorithm. Type a few words into the Google search box and Google will respond: “I don't know the answer, but try these websites. This has opened the door to web entrepreneurs who design their sites to “absorb search engine traffic”, as Amit Singhal, a Google member and search expert, said.
Some famous examples of trade secrets include the Coca-Cola formula and Google's algorithm, as well as the recipes used by Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald's Big Mac special sauce. Its algorithm is a closely guarded trade secret, but it depends largely on linking search terms to noun phrases on a website, as well as on the popularity of a site and the frequency with which other sites link to it. In fact, the future of search engines such as Google and Microsoft's Bing, according to computer scientists, will consist of taking advantage of advances in machine learning and language processing to become answering machines that take up a Watson page, but as a consumer service. Google is constantly refining its algorithm, although rarely as significantly as the recent reform, which is expected to alter the ranking in 12 percent of searches.
A little over a week ago, for example, the Internet search giant Google announced that it was carrying out a major revision of its formula for ranking websites. The search engine giant has already been put to the test in Europe with the “right to be forgotten” law, which allows individuals to require Google to remove pages about them from the list. However, Germany's Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, said in an interview with the Financial Times that Google should reveal its search algorithm for the sake of competition and consumer protection. In other words, doing something that tastes like Coca-Cola isn't much different from creating a search engine that looks like Google.
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