Yet Another Example Of Why Google Would Be Better Off Without Patents
from the it-would-stop-getting-sued-so-often dept
While patent system supporters are trying to convince people that Google could be at great risk if software patents were done away with, that seems hard to square with reality. To date, as far as I know, Google has never filed a patent infringement lawsuit against anyone. Yet, it keeps ending up on the receiving end of incredibly questionable patent lawsuits. This latest one, from a company named GraphOn involves four patents. You can take a look at each one: one, two, three and four. A quick glance suggests not only prior art on all of them (a method for creating a pay-for-service website? filed in 2004? seriously?), but that none of these should have passed the “obviousness” test. It’s difficult to believe that no one else would have come up with the same concepts without such a patent.
But, of course, GraphOn has long decided that there’s probably more money in suing over patent infringement than in building products. While the company does have some actual products, over the past few years, it’s sued a long list of internet companies for supposedly violating its patents. Their crime? Building useful web services that do rather obvious things — but GraphOn insists that such obvious things require a license. GraphOn seems to be proving the old saying that those who can, innovate — while those who can’t litigate.