Google hit with cloud patent claim over Docs, Drive

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.