|Yahoo caves, gives Google a License|
"In exchange for giving Yahoo 2.7 million shares on Aug. 9, Google got a perpetual license to Yahoo's patent on matching online advertisements to Web-search results. Yahoo, of Sunnyvale, Calif., also agreed to drop another dispute over warrants to purchase shares that Google granted it under a partnership signed in 2000."
That is significant. So Google will not have to pay Yahoo/Overture again-n-again.
This part is interesting: "Yahoo holds Class B stock, which has greater voting power, because it was an early investor in Google."
Would have been much better if Google took stance and fought that ridiculous patent. Yesterday it was "one click checkout", today its "matching online advertisements to Web-search results", and what will be tomorrow - patented business models like "selling online"!?!? Or like that guy who tried to patent "plug-ins"!?!?! Oh wait, page rank is patented as well... or not?
This is really bad that company in position to fight (they can afford good lawyers) caved in and settled. I guess from Google's PLC point of view its fine as they got off easily and set precedent that will make it hard for anyone trying to use same business model.
I hope this patent will be ruled null and void before my time is up. Sadly selfish decision by Google made it later rather than sooner. Being selfish is pretty evil in my book - guess this is not shared by Google PLC.
|I guess from Google's PLC point of view its fine as they got off easily and set precedent that will make it hard for anyone trying to use same business model. |
You got it :) Google did the smart thing here, and if I were in their position I would have done the same. If they had fought it, they would have spent a bunch of money (can't fight legal battles with stock) trying to defend a process. Had they won - and they probably would have - it would have opened the concept up to everyone - including Google competitors. Thus they would have been essentially paying to allow other companies to compete against them.
Now, other search engines have less of a chance of competing against Google for revenue because they too will have to receive rights to use the patent from Yahoo. Plus, if it gets overturned down the road, Google can fight to get their shares back from Yahoo, since they only gave it to them to purchase a false license. Way to go Google :)
|if it gets overturned down the road, Google can fight to get their shares back from Yahoo, since they only gave it to them to purchase a false license. Way to go Google |
I guarantee that scenario is covered in the agreement. I seriously doubt Google will be able to recover any money down the road.
Google paid because it was the smartest move they could make. They were about to go public, the case was about to go to trial, and their entire defense was riding on a potential technicality over the filing date of the patent.
That's far from a slam dunk. If they were a smaller, cash-poor company (ala FindWhat) who can't afford to pay a licensing fee, then it would make sense to fight it until the end.
But that's not Google. They have a ton of cash, and they were smart enough to realize that the downside of losing a patent suit over a technology that is responsible for almost all of their revenues was far to great. With so much riding on the outcome, paying to make it go away was the smartest thing they could do.
I agree with you. Another win for Yahoo!
Too bad Yahoo caved. The funniest part is that Google is the most anal company about their stuff. Try putting a Google logo on your site and you'll get an e-mail asking to take it down. I guess this works out well financially for Yahoo, but I'd have loved to see Yahoo sue the hell out of them.
|Try putting a Google logo on your site |
This is reasonable and it in no ways inhibits abilities to create new logos, they don't forbid using the colours they used etc.
Patents are much worse - they address fundamental and often pretty obvious bits, which are hard to avoid in designing a new system - this inhibits progress because not everyone can afford to pay for patent, and thus might be forced to use inferior solution.
If the patent was for something not obvious like understanding human DNA, then fine, but when the patent is for intuitive pretty obvious things like plug-ins for browsers or using number of backlinks as indicator of page importance then this is no good to everyone apart from the guy who managed to patent the obvious.
|This is really bad that company in position to fight (they can afford good lawyers) caved in and settled. I guess from Google's PLC point of view its fine as they got off easily and set precedent that will make it hard for anyone trying to use same business model. |
Sometimes it's cheaper just to settle.