Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jul 2011 20:51 UTC, submitted by fran
Google "Google Inc. said Friday that it has purchased technology patents from International Business Machines Corp. as the Web-search giant stocks up on intellectual property to defend itself against lawsuits." This article lists some of them. Google on the defensive. You kind of have to when you find yourself on the receiving end of the Apple-Microsoft-Oracle cartel's lawsuit stick.
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Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I can't say I blame Google, but I also can't say I'm happy they did this. If Google *becomes* evil, or rather more so than they are now, were pretty much screwed. A lot of the patents they purchased were irrelevant to the mobile device market.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I can't say I blame Google, but I also can't say I'm happy they did this. If Google *becomes* evil, or rather more so than they are now, were pretty much screwed. A lot of the patents they purchased were irrelevant to the mobile device market.


It's the sad state of affairs in the US. I honestly can't blame Google if they are going on the defensive here :/. In a less insane and more competition-friendly environment, we wouldn't need this crap, but alas.

Reply Score: 8

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

ya cuz google would never do this to go on the offensive. This is strictly a defensive maneuver.


(Since you left out the -satire- tags I am free to say:)

Good point! Google has never sued anyone over IP. Thanks for pointing that out! Why have you been hiding this streak of logic/reasonableness until now? <(^8)<

Reply Score: 6

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Dude that logic has more holes than a collendar. Jennimc is actually the voice of reason in this thread. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If software patents are bad then they are always bad. What we need is a nuclear non proliferation treaty for software patents in the short term, with an eye towards banishment in the further.

Reply Score: 1

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

Plus, I'm wrong about Google never having sued anyone:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/google/210601747

Google Launches Pre-Emptive Lawsuit Against Memory Maker

In 2006, Google considered business proposals from Netlist to supply it with server memory hardware for some of its servers but ended up buying from a different supplier.

By Thomas Claburn InformationWeek
September 15, 2008 06:00 PM

Anticipating a patent infringement lawsuit from Netlist, a maker of high-density memory subsystems, Google has taken the offensive and filed for a declaratory judgment to invalidate the patent in question.

The patent, Memory module decoder (U.S. Patent No. 7,289,386), describes a memory module and printed circuit board with a coupled logic element. It was issued to Netlist last October.

Having been sued six times already this year for patent infringement, Google has decided to launch pre-emptive litigation rather than waiting around to be served with patent lawsuit No. 7.

In 2006, according to Google's legal filing, Google considered business proposals from Netlist to supply it with server memory hardware for some of its servers. It ended up buying from a different supplier.

In May 2008, Netlist's CEO and president, Chun Hong, wrote to Google and claimed that the memory modules Google had chosen infringed Netlist's patent. Netlist's outside counsel, Morrison & Foerster, sent two follow-up letters in June.

Google, believing that litigation was imminent, responded by asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment that it is not infringing Netlist's patent and that Netlist's patent isn't valid.

Google's court filing says the Netlist patent is invalid because it fails to comply with various conditions and requirements set forth in patent law.

Reply Score: 4

foregam Member since:
2010-11-17

The point, however, was to invalidate a patent, not to suck Netlist dry.

Reply Score: 4

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Anticipating a patent infringement lawsuit from Netlist, a maker of high-density memory subsystems, Google has taken the offensive and filed for a declaratory judgment to invalidate the patent in question.


They didn't actually sue Netlist, but I'm sure there are actually other cases where Google sued someone.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Damn, the RDF is more powerful than ever.

Reply Score: 4

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Damn, the RDF is more powerful than ever.


yah. It does amuse me to no end however. I do feel sorry for people that manage to get brainwashed to that degree.

Reply Score: 4

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

Thus far there really hasn't been much reason to sue... they were the ones that always took other's ideas.


Another good point! When Apple does it the ideas become theirs. But when Google does it (and even when they don't) the ideas still belong to others.

Unfortunately the RDF doesn't reach my location, so I have to be content with an unmodified feed/field.

Reply Score: 4

Jennimc Member since:
2011-06-22

What did Apple steal that they're claiming is theirs? More to the point... what does this have to do with Apple?

Edited 2011-07-30 07:29 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

FIrst of all, you're right this issue had nothing to do with Apple.

Second of all, you just made it about apple by responding to an apple question and asserting a blatant falsehood about Apple.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Apple+loses+patent+lawsuit

Reply Score: 4

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

What did Apple steal that they're claiming is theirs?


Usually it's not Apple making the claims, instead it's their fanboys who try to give Apple credit for everything.

More to the point... what does this have to do with Apple?


Maybe it's because "Apple fanboy" has become a synonym for "Google anti-fanboy". Not that that would apply to you, of course...

(*coughcoughcough* http://www.osnews.com/user/uid:33949/comments *coughcoughcough*)

Reply Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

What did Apple steal that they're claiming is theirs?

Multi-touch is a big example

Edited 2011-07-31 09:34 UTC

Reply Score: 5

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

I doubt Apple has ever created anything original. From copying GUIs and mice, imitating 1960s Braun appliance and copying phone designs Apple are amongst the biggest IP thieves on the planet.

Reply Score: 0

glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

I can't say I blame Google, but I also can't say I'm happy they did this. If Google *becomes* evil, or rather more so than they are now, were pretty much screwed. A lot of the patents they purchased were irrelevant to the mobile device market.


Google isn't actually in the mobile device market other than the ChromeBooks, which as far as I know they distribute to testers but don't sell (except maybe to developers.) They are in he mobile OS market of course.

But as a cloud/search/service/storage/pseudo-hosting company patents like those on memory devices and their manufacture, server and database features and configuration and server optimization for search and storage seem to be right up their alley.

And of course these are all purely (snicker) defensive, right?

{(o;[>~

Reply Score: 2

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Has google ever launched an offensive patent suit? Or done an MS (IBM) style shakedown?

That is not to say that they won't...but it is worth bearing in mind when comparing them to others.

p.s. part of the problem with google is that they don't have a culture of patenting every flimsy idea under the sun. Which also means that they have fewer weapons and less armor. Unfortunately, unlike the cold war, we are really going MAD.

Edited 2011-07-30 00:51 UTC

Reply Score: 7

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

They have had a really ridiculous patent granted to them though....
http://www.businessinsider.com/google-gets-an-absurd-patent-for-its...

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Aside from the nits you picked, exactly my thinking. Not a good thing.

Reply Score: 2

kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

"Google isn't actually in the mobile device market"

And what da f... Google Nexus One and Google Nexus S are?

Reply Score: 1

Gusar Member since:
2010-07-16

HTC and Samsung phones?

Reply Score: 1

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

HTC and Samsung phones?


Yup. They are essentially dev phones for the platform. I don't think google actually makes any money from the devices themselves.

Reply Score: 2

v ...
by Hiev on Fri 29th Jul 2011 21:58 UTC
v RE: ...
by Joy_Division_Lives! on Fri 29th Jul 2011 22:14 UTC in reply to "..."
RE[2]: ...
by Stephen! on Sat 30th Jul 2011 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

And, I can understand why Apple wants to go after Android, and Google.


If Apple truly believes in the superiority of it's products, they shouldn't really have anything to worry about from Google.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[3]: ...
by Joy_Division_Lives! on Sat 30th Jul 2011 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
RE[4]: ...
by fran on Sat 30th Jul 2011 15:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

Have you ever seen how close Java is to C++.
Also have you ever heard Apple's whole OS is build upon a BSD Unix type file system.

Now who is recycling other's technology.

Edited 2011-07-30 15:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ...
by _txf_ on Sat 30th Jul 2011 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17


Also have you ever heard Apple's whole OS is build upon a BSD Unix type file system.


Not quite right. Apple shoehorned its very ancient (25+ years) HFS filesystem into a BSD OS. But the entire core of their os is based on open source unix.

So yeah, apple borrows heavily when they can.

Edited 2011-07-30 16:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: ...
by vitae on Sat 30th Jul 2011 17:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ..."
vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Yes. Which is why Apple should be the most reasonable of all tech corporations. Borrowing the Mach, borrowing BSD, borrowing KHTML, and somehow none of that matters to them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ...
by Joy_Division_Lives! on Sat 30th Jul 2011 19:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
Joy_Division_Lives! Member since:
2011-07-29

Have you ever seen how close Java is to C++.
Also have you ever heard Apple's whole OS is build upon a BSD Unix type file system.

Now who is recycling other's technology.


Hmmm...it appears that even Andy Rubin of Google thinks it's more than "recycling", as you so quaintly put it.

http://allthingsd.com/20110727/old-email-may-bite-google-in-java-pa...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: ...
by Laurence on Sun 31st Jul 2011 09:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26



If Google believed in their own R&D, they shouldn't have stolen from Apple and Oracle.

So Apple invented multi-touch then?
The capacitive touch screen?
Use of a digital compass?
App Markets?

In each of those cases there's products that came to market with just those "innovations" before Apple did with the iPhone.

It's the same throughout Apples history:
KHTML -> WebKit
Mach & BSD -> XNU (OS X's kernel)
Xerox GUI -> Apples GUI

And many of Apples owned technologies weren't even developed in house:
CUPS, for example, was bought by Apple


Now I'm not saying that Google (and every other company) haven't done their fair share of copying, licensing and buy-outs. But to argue that Apple are some how more innovative than other companies is completely bullshit. Apple have just been better at marketing the stuff they've copied than most other companies. However marketing old ideas as new is not itself an innovation.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: ...
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 31st Jul 2011 10:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Well you can be innovative in marketing...

Trolololol

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ...
by BallmerKnowsBest on Sun 31st Jul 2011 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

But to argue that Apple are some how more innovative than other companies is completely bullshit. Apple have just been better at marketing the stuff they've copied than most other companies. However marketing old ideas as new is not itself an innovation.


Allow me to summarize how the "innovation" process works for Apple:

- trawl through tradeshows, industry press, etc, to get a sense of the direction technology is moving
- cherry-pick ideas that are incredibly obvious to everyone, but that no one has implemented for the same reason no one builds floor mats for flying cars
- cut corners & limit the functionality so that you can product-ize this idea before anyone else
- hope this gives you time to make obscene amounts of money, in the year or two before your competitors finish a proper implementation of the same idea
- then watch your "innovative" product fade into irrelevance, because it ends up being hobbled by the original shortcuts taken to get it to market before anyone else (a limitation your competitors don't have, since they're concerned with doing things properly and not just with doing them first)

It's the technological equivalent of "winning" a marathon by only joining in the last mile & deliberately starting from a point the other runners haven't reached yet.... and then geiting praised as an "innovative visionary" because you read a route map.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: ...
by Joy_Division_Lives! on Sun 31st Jul 2011 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: ..."
Joy_Division_Lives! Member since:
2011-07-29

I guess you need to know the difference between licensing and theft. All the above things regarding Apple were either licensed from the appropriate entities, bought outright...or they have patents for them (you are aware that Apple has a patent for multi-touch on smartphones, correct?). If you license, buy or patent, it's not theft. And if Microsoft thinks Apple unfairly "copied" them, then they should be suing...correct?

I've posted the link twice so I don't feel the need to do it again. Andy Rubin's emails are damning because they clearly show that Google thought they needed a license, and they failed in ways to circumvent it (in their own eyes). So...Google chose thievery instead. Even the presiding judge stated that “Google may have simply been brazen, preferring to roll the dice on possible litigation rather than to pay a fair price.”

If Google had licensed Java like they should have, we wouldn't be having this conversation (although Eric Schmidt's duplicity will not be forgotten).

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: ...
by fran on Sun 31st Jul 2011 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ..."
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

ok..lets get legal. This case is not over yet.

Judge Reduces Oracle's Patent Infringement Charge Against Google From 129 To Three

http://www.itproportal.com/2011/05/06/judge-reduces-oracles-patent-...

Judge blasts Google/Oracle over damages estimates in patent dispute

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/07/judge-blasts-googleorac...

Do you dispute now that this case if not greedily opportunistic?

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: ...
by Joy_Division_Lives! on Sun 31st Jul 2011 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ..."
Joy_Division_Lives! Member since:
2011-07-29

ok..lets get legal. This case is not over yet.

Judge Reduces Oracle's Patent Infringement Charge Against Google From 129 To Three


All it takes is one charge of infringement to stick.

Do you dispute now that this case if not greedily opportunistic?


If Oracle feels they have a right to damages, it's within their rights to pursue the case. Google chose not to license...and they will have to pay the cost of that, if they lose.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: ...
by JAlexoid on Sun 31st Jul 2011 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

PS: Thanks for dragging out this off topic and inflammatory discussion to this size....

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: ...
by Joy_Division_Lives! on Sun 31st Jul 2011 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ..."
Joy_Division_Lives! Member since:
2011-07-29

PS: Thanks for dragging out this off topic and inflammatory discussion to this size....


Yes...because it's quite apparent you were busy with other things....or not...

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: ...
by Laurence on Sun 31st Jul 2011 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: ..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I guess you need to know the difference between licensing and theft.

I never mentioned theft, you did. ;)

All the above things regarding Apple were either licensed from the appropriate entities, bought outright...or they have patents for them (you are aware that Apple has a patent for multi-touch on smartphones, correct?).

So do about a dozen other companies. In fact Synaptic (while not a smart phone manufacturer) has even sued Apple over their implementation of multi-touch.

However we should all know by now that a patent portfolio means jack shit as patents these days are handed out like candy.

If you license, buy or patent, it's not theft.

Again, I never mentioned theft. That was your term not mine.

And if Microsoft thinks Apple unfairly "copied" them, then they should be suing...correct?

I don't recall even mentioning any MS technology so I'm really confused where you pulled that one from.


I've posted the link twice so I don't feel the need to do it again. Andy Rubin's emails are damning because they clearly show that Google thought they needed a license, and they failed in ways to circumvent it (in their own eyes).

Which all happened since Oracle bought out Sun. Prior to then Sun not only allowed Android's development but even gave Google an endorsement.
Actions like this shout more of money-grabbing than genuine concerns about intellectual property.

However the court case is still on going and thus I think it's a little early to be accusing one party of guilt until the legal system has at least had it's 1st stab at a final verdict. (I say 1st stab because I wouldn't be surprised if whatever result is delivered gets appealed).

So...Google chose thievery instead.

Subjective personal opinion. Lets stick to facts please.


If Google had licensed Java like they should have, we wouldn't be having this conversation (although Eric Schmidt's duplicity will not be forgotten).

Possibly, however Sun did give Google it's blessing.
Besides, the whole code copying saga is still yet to be proven in court and Sun/Oracle cannot patent the syntax of Java. So this whole thing could just as easily blow over light hot air.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: ...
by Joy_Division_Lives! on Sun 31st Jul 2011 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: ..."
Joy_Division_Lives! Member since:
2011-07-29

However we should all know by now that a patent portfolio means jack shit as patents these days are handed out like candy.


Yeah...they don't mean anything. That's why the Apple/Microsoft contingent paid out $4.5 billion for the Nortel patents....because they are so worthless...

Which all happened since Oracle bought out Sun. Prior to then Sun not only allowed Android's development but even gave Google an endorsement.


An endorsement does not constitute or replace a license. And Rubin knew that because he expressed the concern that they LACKED a license. You don't mention things like that if you have a clear go ahead. And...there is no standing legal agreement on Java between Google and Oracle, and that's what counts right now.

Actions like this shout more of money-grabbing than genuine concerns about intellectual property.


Oracle wants to be paid for its intellectual property. Are they supposed to give it away for free? Are they supposed to let a company take it without compensation? They are not open-sourcing it...and they have a right to demand a license for it.

Subjective personal opinion. Lets stick to facts please.


I can express my opinion if I want. Those emails give good support for my opinion.

Possibly, however Sun did give Google it's blessing.


Blessing? What does that mean? Is that written down in a legal licensing document someplace? Blessings do not equal licensing!

Besides, the whole code copying saga is still yet to be proven in court and Sun/Oracle cannot patent the syntax of Java. So this whole thing could just as easily blow over light hot air.


Or Google can be found to have infringed and pay up. We shall wait and see.

Edited 2011-07-31 22:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

If I owned a patent
by jefro on Sat 30th Jul 2011 17:09 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Darn straight I'd defend my patent if I could afford to, if not, I'd sell it. IBM has enough lawyers to decide what is cheaper.

A very smart Smith and Wesson company never wanted to buy the original rim fire patent. They choose to write an agreement with the owner to pay a very high price per unit with the condition that the inventor protect the patent. The inventor died penniless.

Reply Score: 1

RE: If I owned a patent
by SunOS on Sat 30th Jul 2011 17:30 UTC in reply to "If I owned a patent"
SunOS Member since:
2011-07-12

And how does that show that patents are meant to encourage innovation?

Reply Score: 1

Confusing innovation
by jefro on Sun 31st Jul 2011 16:54 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

Innovation is not being denied to anyone but possibly the very poorest of inventors. They too could offer their ideas to some larger company.

Look. You have to defend yourself against a lot of very old legal rules. You have to defend your claim to property as in real estate. It has always been like that. Does that stop anyone from buying land?

That is what you get in a free market. Two parts to a great idea usually. One is the idea and the other is how to market it. Almost no one ever did both ideas.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Confusing innovation
by fran on Sun 31st Jul 2011 17:37 UTC in reply to "Confusing innovation"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

With software it is more complicated.

Take the property example you used.

Now imagined the bricks, the mix of cement, paint ect. all patented.
Now imagine you can only buy this stuff from one vendor and any other builder and building material distributor can be sued.
Also imagine the actual shape and layout of your house might be patented.
Not only that, imagine that your house can also be taken away or demolished if you bought from infringing companies.
And everyone needs shelter. And other manufacturers and tradesman livelihoods depend on building it.
Computing like shelter has become a basic human right in my opinion.

This is the software world.
Patent's do spur innovation and do have its merit. (Although the patent period in my opinion is too long.)
But in software the most mundane prior art is going through the patent offices and is used to extort draconic amounts of licensing of some even just refused to license opting to shut competitors down.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Confusing innovation
by Alfman on Sun 31st Jul 2011 19:38 UTC in reply to "Confusing innovation"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

jefro,


"You have to defend your claim to property as in real estate. It has always been like that. Does that stop anyone from buying land?"

"That is what you get in a free market. Two parts to a great idea usually. One is the idea and the other is how to market it."


We do mostly believe in the free market's ability to encourage innovation without the need to resort to artificial government monopolies.

I think maybe you misunderstand why software patents are so unappealing to software developers. Real estate is a tangible resource. It cannot be constructed or invented from within one's consciousness. When someone else steals your property, you can no longer have it yourself.

Now take a look at what software developers do. We take the ideas in our heads, and write them into source code and compile them into programs that do something. We believe that we are entitled to convert our ideas into working programs. Like writers writing about the same topic, many developers do share the same ideas. In fact, often times we aren't even aware of the other writers/developers working on the same thing. We want to be able to develop our own implementations even if someone else may have already done so. Like writers, we feel copyright is the best way to protect our work since it doesn't prohibit multiple developers from working effectively in the same domain like patent monopolies do.

Software patents end up turning software development into a land grab such that the wealthiest corporations end up owning exclusive rights to the best ideas. But unlike tangible real estate, the same ideas can be used by many developers without precluding anyone else from using them at the same time, so there's no fundamental need for government to manage it.

Edited 2011-07-31 19:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Confusing innovation
by JAlexoid on Sun 31st Jul 2011 21:36 UTC in reply to "Confusing innovation"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Yes it is being denied. It's being denied to the probable benefactor of said innovation.

PS: Please let the jokes about "free market" be left for other occasions... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QDv4sYwjO0

Reply Score: 2