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

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, Patents

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  • Since we won't see this reported on ZDNet, apple loses another one

    apple needs to stop copying everyone else and start actually innovating.

    Kudos to Charlie for posting this one recently:
    • Patent lawsuits are a double edged sword to innovators

      Only patent trolls can expect to be full beneficiaries of patent lawsuits.

      Apple is an innovator and yet, most unwisely, chose to go that route. Reap what you sow, indeed.
      Deep Thinker
  • Google such a cry-baby

    Google has virtually Zero IP that were developed in-house and is surviving on charity IP donated by MS enemies. Google is trying to pretend that its part of the elite companies who own their own IP. Without stealing open source projects and ripping Java Google will be a big Zero in technology.

    Now they are trying to bribe the politicians to get around the patent system, what a shame.
    • nice

      So you support true patent trolls. Just as I would think.
      • Innovate and then patent it, or else Google should just up.

        There is no short cut to glory.
    • You're wrong!

      Google has more than 600 of their own IP patents.

      They acquired 2000 from IBM.
      They also acquired 17500 (and 7500 pending) from Motorola.

      I don't even know how many they have in the NIK deal.

      Apple has what? 4000 Patents and 7500 shared from Nortel?

      So, with that said, I don't care how Google got them, they have them so, go pitch your bunk elsewhere.
      • So why are they scared?

        Google's in-house IP are pathetic. Most of the Motorola IP Google acquired to save android are useless.

        Google has not won a single IP case, now they are try to lobby and bribe politicians. They are already doing the dirty work in many countries with high corruption rates, Eastern Europe, south America, Africa and in many Asian countries.

        First remove your fan boy glass and then you will get a real picture of why Google is such a cry-baby
        • It isn't about being scared

          It's about doing the right thing.

          Notice how others are agreeing with them?
          Michael Alan Goff
    • Re: Google such a cry-baby

      Interestingly, Google hasn't had to pay out quite as much in patent lawsuit settlements as Microsoft: who can forget the half-billion dollar settlement with Eolas over Internet Explorer? And a few more hundred-million-dollar payments here and there.

      So who is the big IP thief, again?
  • Google: It's time to take action against patent trolls,..

    Kudos Google, BlackBerry, Red Hat and Earthlink.
    • Cracking down on patent trolls is a good thing, but

      hearing the message come from Google seems disingenious at best. Google has a nasty habit of taking properties from others and trying to release it as open source.

      Now that Google has learned the value of the billions they spent on buying patents from Motorola have no teeth to file suits against their competition they want to put an end to patent fights.

      I think Google makes great stuff, but hard to hear this message coming from them.
      • Re: nasty habit of taking properties from others and trying to release it a

        For example?
        • Re: For example?

          Wow, 2 flags (and counting) just for asking someone to back up their bullshit claim...
          • ain't zdnet great? (nt)

      • whats wrong woth open sourcing?

        I don't see the peoblem here. If the other companies didn't want to sell out to google and allow it to do whatever they wanted with their IP, then they didn't have to. They got payed for the IP and thus got what they see as fair compensation. Who is actually hirting here if google gives thongs away after they buy it fair and square?
        • oh lol

          My phones crappy touch screen strikes again... lol thongs....
  • Funny since google owns motorola, one of the biggest patent trolls

    Somehow thinking we wont be seeing moto dropping any of their suits though. Step one in actually meaning any of this instead of just spewing it out in hopes of good pr would be for google to have some stones and step forward and indemify oems who use android. When they do that then they'll be able to talk.
    Johnny Vegas
    • That's exactly what I first thought when I read it (NT)

      This is a required field for what reason?
  • Patents

    I think patents are fine to have - but as long as the patents are for something that is indeed valid. To have patented something like sliding a lock to unlock a phone is rediculous.
  • Patents

    Gisabun - I completely agree. Here is my own blog written a couple of months back..