Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

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Google Receives Minor Setback In One Of Many Patent Infringement Suits

from the can't-get-out-of-it-that-quickly dept

As a large, ultra-successful tech company, it comes as no surprise that Google is a regular target for patent holders in infringement lawsuits. In the last couple of years, the company has faced new patent lawsuits at a rate of more than one new lawsuit every two months (and that pace is accelerating, as Google was hit with six infringement lawsuits in just the last three months) -- with the vast majority of those coming from companies that don't actually make any products, but just hold patents. It's a total waste of Google's resources to have to send lawyers to court to defend these suits, but thankfully, Google's principled stand against bogus lawsuits means that it generally tries to fight these types of suits, rather than settling them in hopes that they'll go away. In one such suit, Google was able to get the district court in Wisconsin to toss out the lawsuit, but it appears that the Appeals court has sent part of the case back to the lower court, suggesting that it shouldn't have been thrown out on summary judgment. Luckily, much of the original summary judgment was upheld -- including the part that claimed Google's AdSense infringed. However, Google will now need to spend more legal resources in court to respond to the charge that its Autolink feature does infringe. Once again, a demonstration of the patent system wasting resources for no good reason.

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  • icon
    james johnson (profile), 27 Dec 2007 @ 11:12am

    king of the hill

    Throughout nature we always hear of the phrase "There's always a bigger fish" yet humans decided long ago that they were going to be against nature on this. Where in nature the "bigger fish" is the dominant one on the food chain, humans are repeatedly of the mindset: "the bigger they are, the harder they fall"; hence why everyone plays king of the hill. The only thing that's changed throughout history, is the fights have gotten dirtier.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Dec 2007 @ 12:12pm

    king of the hill / survival of the fittest, those are laws of nature, humans decided its not fair for the majority and started adding various laws that theoretically help protect the week, bit in fact those laws are mostly used to try to squeeze money of the Biggest fish, so google's problems will not go away in fact they will keep getting worse.
    Any1 remembers how it was when MS was on top?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kris, 27 Dec 2007 @ 12:24pm

    Pretty Sad

    It's pretty sad that companies like the ones throwing lawsuits out at Google left and right are actually thriving in today's society. It's such a lazy-man's way of producing money for yourself...just attacking those that had the drive to make it big claiming they "stole your idea". Get over yourselves and let Google bask in its' well-deserved glory.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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