Although the visible face of Google is Sundar Pichai, its original founders are Larry Page and Sergey Brin, of whom we have spoken long and hard. In an earlier article titled What’s the Story of Google’s Third Founder? I spoke of other names that we could consider as third, fourth or fifth in the successor line of founders.
And what all these names have in common, some known and others more anonymous, is that they were all studying at that time in the Stanford University. What’s more, the search engine that we know as Google born as a doctoral work of Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, as we can read in the official document that you can read thanks to the fact that Stanford University He posted it on his official page.
Many others emerge from this anecdote, some forgotten by the passage of time and others occasionally recovered. An example is the payment of almost two million dollars Google did to Stanford University. The short answer has to do with patents. The long answer, below.
Google’s first patent
Much of the technology that makes possible services or tools such as the Google search engine are legally protected by a patent. This implies that whoever wants to use this technology must do so with the permission of its author. And in most cases it translates into a payment that may be several million of dollars.
Going back to Google, his first patent has to do with PageRank. If we read the documentation that Page and Brin created for their doctorate, PageRank was a ranking that rated the web pages that Google found. Thus, according to this score, the pages were displayed in one order or another. Partly, PageRank It was based on the citation of academic articles, which give more or less prestige to an article depending on what other publications have cited it.
As well. The PageRank patent is not owned by Google or its founders. It is in the name of the Stanford University. Hence, Google paid $ 1.8 million for a long-term use license. The explanation?
According to an article published in Stanford Magazine, a publication of Stanford University, there are several reasons that explain the above. For starters, Google and its PageRank were an academic project started in 1996. Google as a company, will not see the light until 1998. During those two years a lot has happened.
From Stanford to Silicon Valley
The first server that hosted Google, which was first called BackRub, was a computer from Stanford University. And it worked on Stanford’s own internet domain. Also, to start up that computer and the memory necessary to house all the indexed content, Larry Page and Sergey Brin They received $ 10,000 from the Stanford University Digital Library project. The person responsible for providing this financing was the professor Hector García-Molina.
Source: Stanford University
Faced with the need for more funding, Page and Brin went to the Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing, in Spanish Technology Licensing Office. This office acts as an intermediary between Stanford students and companies to find investors. With their help and that of other important names like David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo! Google was launched as an internet startup.
And as a result of its success, Stanford University received $ 1.8 million in the form of Google shares. According to various sources, those shares were sold in 2005 obtaining the figure of $ 336 million.
As a curiosity, the patent in question is US 6,285,999. Regarding its validity, in September 2019 the main patent and those related to PageRank they expired, as we can see in Google Patents.