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Google in Alliance Against Mystery Patent Holder

Google and other big names plan defence together.

     
1:51 pm on Dec 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Google, along with IBM, Oracle and Sun, have met to discuss defences against a possible royality demands from a $15.5M patent holder.

[theregister.co.uk...]

The firm's assets were auctioned on Monday by the United States Bankruptcy Court. The patents cover protocols relating to web services widely used in the industry, according to CNet.

Several Silicon Valley giants including Google, IBM, Oracle and Sun met last month to discuss a joint defence should JGR try to enforce the patents. The firms also considered pooling resources to buy the patents but this was rejected.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 2:03 pm (utc) on Dec. 8, 2004]
[edit reason] added quote [/edit]

3:29 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What prtocalls?
3:56 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"The protocols, also known as Web services, are in wide use today. Microsoft, IBM and, presumably, the companies at this week's meeting have incorporated them into their software products and their own business systems"
5:14 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So are they saying http, ftp, or something like that.
5:19 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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FTP and HTTP are protocols.

[google.com...]

5:28 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The patents cover a set of key technical protocols known as Web services, a popular method for exchanging business documents over the Internet. The protocols are in wide use today; Microsoft, IBM and other software companies both large and small have incorporated them into their programs.

Presumably, something like SOAP or WDSL.

5:52 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Ah yes, they have patents on the following:

US PAT Nš:6,751,600
Method for automatic categorization of items
US PAT Nš:6,591,260
Method of retrieving schemas for interpreting documents in an electronic commerce system
US PAT Nš:6,542,912
Tool for building documents for commerce in trading partner networks and interface definitions based on the documents
US PAT Nš:6,226,675
Participant server which process documents for commerce in trading partner networks
US PAT Nš:6,125,391
Market makers using documents for commerce in trading partner networks

They all look quite dull, so I didn't bother to do more than skim them, but basically they all deal with the automated classification and organisation of documents in a group commerce area.

6:02 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I know what a protocol is. Thank you Sanenet. That was what I was looking for.
6:08 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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This patent buying from large law firms is an absolute farce. Their only intention is to make a quick buck of construing very general patents and sticking it to companies with large pockets. It's the legal folks like this that are really bringing the country down and stifle innovation in any industry.

Shame on JGR Acquistions for abusing our legal system in the sole search for a payoff. Hopefully our legal system is smart enough to sniff something like this out and nip it in the bud.

6:23 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, Lothar, the legal system is not that smart.
8:16 pm on Dec 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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God bless the American legal system. Where else could one manipulate the antiquated patent system so readily.
12:14 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yea... Only in America could a company get away with this. But the deep pockets this pseudo-corporation might go after also have big legal departments.
3:18 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Im all for a hostile takeover 'just like how Bill Gates took over CompuGlobalHyperMegaNet from Homer'.
3:53 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Google, Microsoft, and many others were plain STUPID for not buying the patents themselves. A little more then $15 million would have been pocket change and now they will probably pay that anyway to the new owners. What a blunder on thier part.
8:51 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Let's face it - the US patent system is a farce.

Anything that allows one company to register sole rights to employ simple, logical extentsions of existing business processes - like one click checking out (I mean the technology existed already!) - is bonkers.

It means that poor old small businesses cannot innovate, simply because big companies can buy the rights to really obvious 'new' ideas. I mean, are these small co's going to file for patents every time they think of a slight improvement to the way their website works?!

Thankfully, the British system doesn't allow such nonsense. The idea has to be genuinely new and not a logical extension to something that already existed. Plus, you can't patent processes, only the technology they are based on, which in a certain massive US retailer's case often isn't new anyway.

Just my opinion....

Suggy

9:59 am on Dec 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, Lothar, the legal system is not that smart.

Yes it is, they make tons of dosh out of cases like this.

Thankfully, the British system doesn't allow such nonsense.

Give us ten more years ....

12:50 am on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Actually, treaties are such that for the most part it doesn't matter what country you are in. Patent it in the US, enforce it everywhere...

What I thought was kind of fun was how they purchased the patents anonymously through their lawyer, and one of the conditions of sale was that identity be kept secret. It was apparently the first time the judge had ever had that requested of him/her.

5:13 am on Dec 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Patents aren't worth the copper platter's they're stored on. Even if the patent is legit, most companies lack the cash flow to battle a giant. The only reason a relatively small player like SCO is trying to take on IBM is because it's a death rattle. Any going concern would be crazy to risk years of litigation and legal bills with the possibility of being counter-sued and no sure payday at the end of it all.
7:56 pm on Dec 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Patents aren't worth the copper platter's they're stored on.

[webmasterworld.com...]

12:28 am on Dec 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Apparently the sale includes language that says the patents would not be enforced in existing applications, so businesses that already use those protocols would be given a pass.
 

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