Home Business IT Open Source Google told to pay $US5m in Linux patent suit

A jury in Texas has ruled against Google in a patent suit concerning the Linux kernel and ordered the company to pay $US5 million in damages to Bedrock Computer Technologies which filed the suit in June 2009.


Apart from Google, Softlayer Technologies, CitiWare Technology Solutions, Yahoo!, MySpace, Amazon.com, PayPal, Match.com, AOL and the CME Group were named as defendants.

In the suit, various versions of the kernel, from the 2.4.22.x tree to version 2.6.31.x or versions beyond were named as allegedly infringing the patent in question.

Bedrock's suit concerned US Patent 5,893,120 on "methods and apparatus for information storage and retrieval using a hashing technique with external chaining and on-the-fly removal of expired data".

IP activist Florian Mueller said some of the other defendants were "small entities based in Eastern Texas who may have been named primarily for the purpose of keeping the entire case in that particular court district. It appears that the allegations against Google were the first ones in this suit to go to on trial."

Mueller, who analysed the verdict on his blog, added: :The problem is that Bedrock is now in a pretty strong position to collect royalties from other Linux users, especially those utilizing (sic) Linux for large server operations."

Google claimed in its defence that the patent was invalid. Red Hat has also attempted to get the patent invalidated as several of the defendants are among its customers but failed.

 

FREE WHITEPAPER - REMOTE SUPPORT TRENDS FOR 2015

Does your remote support strategy keep you and your CEO awake at night?

Today’s remote support solutions offer much more than just remote control for PCs. Their functional footprint is expanding to include support for more devices and richer analytics for trend analysis and supervisor dashboards.

It is imperative that service executives acquaint themselves with the new features and capabilities being introduced by leading remote support platforms and find ways to leverage the capabilities beyond technical support.

Field services, education services, professional services, and managed services are all increasing adoption of these tools to boost productivity and avoid on-site visits.

Which product is easiest to deploy, has the best maintenance mode capabilities, the best mobile access and custom reporting, dynamic thresholds setting, and enhanced discovery capabilities?

To find out all you need to know about using remote support to improve your bottom line, download this FREE Whitepaper.

DOWNLOAD!

Sam Varghese

website statistics

A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Connect