Google Sued For Patent Infringement For Mobile Chrome

from the of-course dept

Because no new products can be released these days without getting sued for patent infringement, Google has been sued by EMG Technology -- yet another patent holder that isn't actually competing or innovating suing companies that are. The issue is Google's recently released Chrome browser for the mobile phone, which EMG claims violates its patent, 7,441,196 on an "apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling internet content." EMG points out that Apple sought to have this patent re-examined and it survived. Despite the fact that the inventors of the patent all appear to reside in Southern California, EMG is located in Southern California and Google is based in Northern California, take one guess where this lawsuit was filed... Why East Texas, of course. Because that makes no sense at all. And people wonder why we say that the patent system has become a tax on innovation.


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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 11:31pm

    Favorable Veredict Practically Guaranteed

    "Why East Texas, of course. Because that makes no sense at all."

    It's this sort of thing that makes me wonder whether judges in East Texas are actually getting paid for their veredicts. They say everything's bigger in Texas. Perhaps that includes the bribes?

     

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      Vincent Clement (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:25am

      Re: Favorable Veredict Practically Guaranteed

      Not bribes. By mostly ruling in favour of patent trolls, judges in East Texas improve the likelihood that patent lawsuits will be filed in East Texas, thereby improving job security. Just another government process that has become self-serving.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    [citation needed or GTFO], Jul 11th, 2012 @ 11:37pm

    Buzzword: Google

    Even though this article has nothing to do with paywalls, cue "Paywall Bob's rant on Big Search" in 3...2...

     

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    •  
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      Richard (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 1:22am

      Re: Buzzword: Google

      Not seen "paywall bob" for a while...

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 2:30am

      Re: Buzzword: Google

      or maybe we'll see the idiot that keeps linking to that site with the horribly flawed analogies.

      Tricordist I think it was

       

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        identicon
        [citation needed or GTFO], Jul 12th, 2012 @ 2:34am

        Re: Re: Buzzword: Google

        Preceded by "ROFL LOL OMG, Derp Yur Funneh."

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 3:50am

          Re: Re: Re: Buzzword: Google

          I think all the shilltrolls gave up a couple of weeks back because the sarcasm here made them all think they were in someone else's trolling territory...

           

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            identicon
            llortamai, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Buzzword: Google

            I haven't noticed anyone around lately who wasn't just baiting or throwing off some dumb one liners.

            Where is angrydude when you need him?

             

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  •  
    identicon
    trenchman, Jul 11th, 2012 @ 11:40pm

    Vagueness

    I wouldn't be nearly as annoyed by law suits on patent infringement is the patents weren't so damn vague. An "apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling internet content." It goes into no detail as to what type of "apparatus", how it would be controlled, in what way it actually affects the screen. Seriously, "viewing" is part of the patent? Shouldn't any device that allows viewing internet content on any part of the screen be in violation of their patent? I guess maybe if it isn't "manipulating a region" of it it won't matter, but a lot of websites are re-arranged to fit on smaller wireless devices, couldn't that be considered manipulation?

    Patents need to be more specific or else I'm gonna patent a "device to do things in a direct or indirect way leading to a specific, general, intended, or unintended outcome." and make millions suing people over it.

     

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      Cerberus (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 1:03am

      Re: Vagueness

      Ohh great idea, but, hey, you got there first. I have about 8,401,249 idea that I would like licensed; can I get a discount?

       

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      Danny (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 4:47am

      Re: Vagueness

      This is the reason why software patents fail.

      Kill of the software patents as they have no use. Software is covered by copyright already. If two people come to the same solution with different methods this is fine, its only not fine when someone copies the source or just copies the binary but both issues are covered by copyright.

       

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  •  
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    Wally (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 1:22am

    East Texas

    Actually, having the trial where the judge is least likely to have the technological know-how makes perfect sense if you're a patent troll.

     

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      tracker1 (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 9:25am

      Re: East Texas

      I think this trend may go the other way... the judges in East Texas seem to be coming up to speed on technology... I'm surprised there isn't a legal precedent for having the venue changed, when both parties are in a different state than where filed.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 2:22am

    I think someone should apply for general vague patent and see what happens, how much they cost, the loops you have to go through and more importantly whether they accept it.

    And then post a review,
    Affordability - just how much money is needed to buy a patent, can only the rich companies afford it?

    Safeguards- just how much background checks do they do to confirm a patent is legit, non vague, and more importantly check for prior examples

    A vague patent that describes something widely used today

     

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    mlang (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 2:39am

    there's a weird bit that says..."A web page is provided having a link to a sister site. The sister site facilitates simplified navigation. Pages from the sister site are served responsive to actuation of the sister site link. In one embodiment, the sister site includes matrix pages to permit matrix navigation."

    So is the patent for a device or web design standard? If it's a device, it's implying that the device creates a secondary site for navigation. I don't know of any browsers that create new webpages - they just reformat existing ones. And when a website has a parallel mobile site, the device or method doesn't need to do anything.

    So, if that's in the introduction, how on earth does it not get thrown out before the rest of the document is even read?

     

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  •  
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    Torg (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 2:42am

    Are you fucking kidding me?

    Are you fucking KIDDING ME?!

    There is a patent for looking at the Internet on a smartphone? What dumbass decided that was novel? Hell, it's not just smartphones! My laptop can qualify as a wireless device! This is completely fucking ridiculous!

     

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    mlang (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 2:44am

    Looking at it more, it seems to be a patent for "automatically reformatting the xsl and css for a webpage into a menu grid".

    In other words, it's a patent for using float left on divs.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Karim, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 2:47am

    They deserve it

    Good stuff! While Apple and others are out there innovating, Big Search Companies like Google are getting by by "monkeying" everything around them.

    Nobody, and I mean nobody, would have ever thought up "a way to make viewing stuff on a comparatively small device much easier".

    FML.

    /s

     

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      Pangolin (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 7:40am

      Re: They deserve it

      Wait - it might get better. If Apple challenged it and it survived and apple isn't being sued over it then Apple must have licensed it. That means Apple is helping to pay for Google to get sued.

      Win Win

      Software and business method patents should be disallowed and thrown out en masse. If it's a physical device that is marketed protect it from copying. Otherwise leave things alone.

       

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  •  
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    edinjapan (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:25am

    What would happen if

    A big company such as Google were to tell the judge "We're NOT paying!" And then backed up the statement by going to the press and stating if they get hit by another frivolous patent they will move their company to a venue where these sort of things aren't allowed.

    By current estimates Google is worth in excess of US$200 billion and if that money and the jobs it provides were to be suddenly removed from the US economy and moved north to Canada or west to Singapore what would that say to the world.

     

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    Digitalistically Speaking (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:55am

    It's mine and you can't play with it!

    I own the Patent for 1 and the copyright for 0.
    and the trademark for 10,01,and 1001,and etc,etc, and so on
    All you low life infringers out there...PAY UP!

    I'm waiting...

    copyright 2012

     

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  •  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 7:53am

    The patent office just rubberstamps everything, they don't have time to review the validity of each submitted patent. They're still trying to figure out who approved my patent "Patent #2*35673+π A method for the establishment of a national or international office for the processing and approval of patents".

     

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      identicon
      staff, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 8:22am

      Re:

      patent office just rubberstamps everything...Really?
      Have you ever patented anything?? My guess is not or you'd know better.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Karim, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 8:35am

        Re: Re:

        patent office just rubberstamps everything...Really?

        "apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling internet content."

        Surely that means that I could be infringing on that patent by holding my phone close to my face so I can read better

        So yeah, I think it is fair to assume the rubberstamping of everything.


        Arrrrrrrrrrr

         

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  •  
    identicon
    staff, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    another biased article

    "another patent holder that isn't actually competing or innovating..."

    If they invented and patented it or bought it from the ineventor, they were the ones who innovated by definition. The infringers were the ones who stole it. Often small start-ups cant compete until they get funded. They cant get funded until they secure their patent rights -including obtaining an injunction against infringers.

    "Why East Texas, of course"

    If you're a small inventor you can sue someone in their back yard (eg NC) where it may take 5 or more years to make it to trial while you're ability to commercialize and your patent languishes, or you can sue where you're more likely to get a speedy trial. Naturally, infringers and their paid puppets prefer to wait until hell freezes over.

    Large infringers really are paying you to write this rubbish, aren't they?

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 10:52am

      Re: another biased article

      You need to see a therapist.

       

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      JMT (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

      Re: another biased article

      You describe this as "another biased article" as if that's a bad thing that nobody else realised. Of course it's biased, this is an opinion blog, and Mike's opinion of the state of the patent system is well-know. Your comments have a very strong pro-patent bias, and most of us know why. So your accusation is both hypocritical and irrelevant.

      "If they invented and patented it or bought it from the ineventor, they were the ones who innovated by definition."

      I prefer to consider something truly innovative if it actually provides a benefit to someone. There is absolutely nothing innovative about coming up with an idea that you can't produce, or worse, buying someone else's idea and still not being able to produce it. By then using a ridiculously broad patent to prevent someone else's genuinely innovative product from coming to market (i.e. providing a benefit to someone), you're being the exact opposite of innovative.

      "The infringers were the ones who stole it."

      "Large infringers really are paying you to write this rubbish, aren't they?"


      And with these two comments you paint yourself as an ignorant loon not worthy listening to.

       

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    identicon
    Hypnosis Blogger, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Patent

    I would like to patent

    "An apparatus or method that does something."

    I think I should safely be able to sue everyone... so long as I do it in East Texas.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 7:29am

    Despite the fact that the inventors of the patent all appear to reside in Southern California, EMG is located in Southern California and Google is based in Northern California, take one guess where this lawsuit was filed... Why East Texas, of course.

    This is becoming some sort of meme. Or rather a bad joke. "That Harry Potter troll, was it from East Texas? har har har"

     

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