Google hit with cloud patent claim over Docs, Drive

Summary:Cloud computing proliferates, drawing attention to old tech patents. Can caching methods be patented? We'll find out.

A hat tip to GigaOm's Jeff John Roberts this morning for pulling court documents related to a new lawsuit filed against Google for infringing patents with its Docs and Drive services.

A Massachusetts-based company called Superspeed LLC filed suit in the U.S. district court in Houston, Texas alleging that the Mountain View, Calif-based tech giant infringed on patents for technology related to the caching of data.

It argues:

SuperSpeed and its predecessor EEC have developed and marketed software for increasing performance of computers linked together in a network. The software is designed to work in a network environment known as a shared-disk cluster. [...]

For example, a bank might have hundreds of computers as part of its network, some for employees handling customer service calls, others for employees running credit checks for loan applications, and so forth. [...]

Accessing data on hard disks and other mechanical storage devices is a relatively slow process. [...]

SuperSpeeds software helps overcome this problem by permitting data "caching" in a shared-disk cluster network. "Caching" accelerates data processing operations by making a copy of frequently accessed data in the random access memory (or "RAM") of the individual computer that is using the data. A computer can access data in RAM approximately two-hundred-thousand times faster than data on a hard disk.

The company argues that Google's Docs and Drive products infringe on the patent (you can see it here), a tough pill to swallow as every enterprise player moves toward the cloud.

The company seeks an injunction and royalties; we'll see how Google responds soon enough.

Topics: Patents

About

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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