US patent #6098065 is the first in the series of patents used in Rockstar's legal action against Google and Android device manufacturers. It is for an "Associative search engine" and contains just one claim:
A method of searching for desired information within a data network, comprising the steps of:
receiving, from a user, a search request including a search argument corresponding to the desired information;
searching, based upon the received search argument and user profile data, a database of information to generate a search result;
and providing the search results to the user
wherein searching the database includes
correlating, as a function of a fuzzy logic algorithm, the received search argument and user profile data to particular information in the database, and
providing the particular information as the search results.
Off the cuff, the key here would appear to be the "fuzzy logic algorithm", as the rest of the claim certainly was used prior to February 13, 1997 (including various bits of prior art mentioned in the abstract, like Yahoo).
I am interested in collecting relevant definitions of "fuzzy logic algorithm" and any prior art for the same. It is unclear to me if stemming or synonym matching would qualify as "fuzzy logic algorithms" or not, and if they do, whether there is documented evidence of such techniques being used in database searching prior to February 13, 1997. I would assume that simple wildcards (e.g., SQL
LIKE operator) would probably not qualify.