Google acquired the remaining pending patent applications of Cuil, a search engine once extolled as a prospective Google killer.

Two former Google employees and an IBM employee founded the startup that allegedly indexed more websites than Google without retaining information about past search histories or surfing patterns. Many touted it as one of the most successful startups in 2008.

However, things quickly plummeted for Cuil over stirred controversy concerning the abrupt departure of a cofounder. The search engine’s complex two-column format accompanied by thumbnail images did not help the startup’s causes, either. The website eventually went offline in September 2010…

Blogger Bill Slawski reported that Cuil’s last seven pending patents were assigned to Google with an execution date of Feb. 4, 2011, but they were not recorded at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office database until Feb. 14, 2012. The financial terms were not disclosed, but Slawski said Anna Lynn Patterson, one of Cuil’s cofounders, returned to Google as the Director of Google Research.

The pending patents regard search interfaces, such as multiple tabs for query terms, different dropdown types for associated categories, and an ability to refine queries with related aspects.

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