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.