Google: It's time to take action against patent trolls, privateering

Summary:Google bands together with BlackBerry and Red Hat as it continues its offensive to defend itself against patent suits.

Google along with a coalition of tech heavyweights have together penned and submitted their thoughts about patent lawsuits to the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

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Submitted in partnership with BlackBerry, Earthlink and Red Hat, the 22-page document attempts to argue that patent-related lawsuits (especially "patent assertion entities," or PAEs) have basically gotten out of hand, to say the least.

For example, the authors cited that PAEs are filing four times as many cases today as in 2005, and PAE lawsuits now account for 62 percent of all recently filed patent litigation.

Matthew Bye, senior competition counsel for Google, provided commentary in a blog post on Friday, asserting that it's "time to take action about patent trolls and patent litigation."

We’ve been encouraged by recent attention on the problem of trolls, which cost the U.S. economy nearly $30 billion a year. Trolls are hurting consumers and are increasingly going after small businesses, hampering innovation and reducing competition.

Our comments today also focus on a worrisome trend: some companies are increasingly transferring patents to trolls—and providing incentives to assert those patents against their competitors. These transfers can raise rivals’ costs and undermine patent peace.

Google has been very vocal about defending itself and intellectual property against litigation lately.

Just last week , the Internet giant published its Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge, in which Google promised "not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked."

To read the entire filing submitted to the DOJ and FTC, scroll through the document below:

Google, Red Hat, BlackBerry and Earthlink on patent trolls, privateering

Topics: Legal, Google, Government : US, Open Source


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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