Google Faces Patent Extortion From Russia

from the trying-to-cash-in dept

Google has become a big target for patent lawsuits over the years, as does just about any successful company. Most of the lawsuits seem like more of an attempt to shakedown a successful company, rather than any legitimate complaint, and the latest is no exception. Valleywag points us to the news that a Russian company named Era Vodoleya claims that it invented and patented “contextual advertising” and that Google owes the company $3 billion. It may be a translation issue, but the article falsely claims that Google implemented its contextual ad program in 1999, when it actually came about much later. Also, what’s odd, is that no actual lawsuit has been filed. Instead, the company is going public with threats to file a lawsuit and asking Google to settle up. It says it will wait until Spring to file the actual lawsuit.

The concept of contextual advertising was hardly a new idea. In fact, from the early days of web advertising, it was always a target. Plenty of other companies tried to do it, but what made Google so successful was that it actually implemented the process in a way that worked. It was about putting it into practice, not the grand scheme that ended up in a patent somewhere. This seems like nothing more than a company trying to shakedown Google.

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Companies: era vodoleya, google

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Comments on “Google Faces Patent Extortion From Russia”

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15 Comments
Ima Fish (profile) says:

It was about putting it into practice, not the grand scheme that ended up in a patent somewhere.

I’m reminded of an episode of the Twilight Zone where a guy thought that if he could go back in time prior to the industrial revolution, with ideas about television, radio, and telephones, he could become rich.

Of course he was sent back in time, and he had the grand ideas for the products, but he had absolutely no way of actually implementing them. So he ended up poor.

Lonnie E. Holder says:

Maybe it was a grand scheme in a patent somewhere...

It was about putting it into practice, not the grand scheme that ended up in a patent somewhere. This seems like nothing more than a company trying to shakedown Google.

Actually, Google patented a related invention in U.S. patent 7,136,875. However, this patent was filed 09/24/2002, much later than Google was supposedly using the original technology, so perhaps this later patent and the seven patent applications pending that depend from this patent are for a different technology.

The other puzzling item is that various reports either claim copyright infringement or patent infringement.

Era Vodoleya has no US or EPO patents, so a claim of $3 billion seems unlikely, since Era Vodoleya would be limited to revenue from countries where it holds patents, if it even does hold patents. If Russian law is similar to U.S. patent law, Era Vodoleya would get nothing unless the servers doing the contextual advertising are located within Russia.

On the other hand, if Era Vodoleya can prove copyright infringement, which seems initially unlikely, then they might have a case.

All this seems like a ploy to get some money from Google or to get Google to buy the company. Google’s attorneys probably had little to do this week anyway, so having to think a little will be good for them.

Stay tuned.

Boris says:

Re: Maybe it was a grand scheme in a patent somewhere...

http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=EA&NR=4528&KC=&FT=E

1. The information system including at least one user’s device connected via a connection unit to a memory device for storing information, characterized by including into said system a device far generating a set of requested information and advertising information, connected to the memory device for storing information and to the connection unit, and comprising an entry for inputting the advertising information.

и пояснения к этому пункту

Additionally an advertising information can be input by the user from the keyboard using an input unit (not shown on the figure). If the user has a possibility to choose the advertising he is interested in, the system can work in a mode of a dialog: the user forms a requested information; the information is to be found in mem 4; the message is transmitted through the device 4 informing that the requested information is available, a list of advertising services is then transmitted; the user chooses the advertising service he is interested in, sends the answer to the network and receives a set of requested information and the type of advertising information according to the user’s choice corresponding to the mode of providing information.

in 1999 Google dnot have Bisines Plan.
http://g-o-o-g-l-e.ru/blog/
and Bill Gross dnot have patent

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