Somewhere Rupert Murdoch is fuming right now. Google has been fighting legal pressure and pressure from some publishers with its book-scanning program for a while now. That pressure hasn't stopped the search giant from looking at other tech that will let it put more print materials online.
Electricpig reports that Google has a new patent that is called Segmenting Printed Media Pages into Articles that takes a print magazine and converts it to a digital version automatically. In a nutshell, the patent covers a method for scanning the magazines and other printed materials and converting them to digital versions complete with text and images.
What you would end up with in practice is a fully scanned newspaper or magazine with each article in the publication, complete with pictures, able to be offered individually and searchable on Google. Yep, Murdoch is probably calling up his lawyers right now.