Posted November 12, 2007 10:51 am by with 4 comments

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imageIt seems that patent-trolling-attorneys have found a juicy prey to sink their teeth into–Google.

Boston’s Northeastern University and technology company Jarg have filed a lawsuit against the search engine, alleging the company is infringing on one of their patents.

The patent describes a distributed database system that breaks search queries into fragments and distributes them to multiple computers in a network to get faster results. The patent was assigned to Northeastern University, which licensed it exclusively to Jarg, according to the lawsuit, filed last Tuesday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

When you look at the details, you’ll see there’s really nothing here other than an attempt to earn a big payday from Google.

First, you have the attorney’s greed:

Jarg learned of the alleged infringement from a Boston-area lawyer who thought Google’s search technology resembled that covered by the patent, said Jarg’s president.

Second, you have technology company that we’ve never heard of:

Jarg develops an intellectual property suite called the Semantic Knowledge Indexing Platform, which it markets to life sciences and health care companies through a subsidiary, Semantx Life Sciences.

Lastly, we have an attempt to find a court that might rule in their favor:

The Marshall Division of the Texas district court, where the suit was filed, is seen as a friendly venue for patent litigators. Although none of the [parties] in the case are based there, the lawsuit argues it is an appropriate venue for the case because Google provides services there.

It looks like the perfect recipe for an out of court settlement to me.

  • Yuppers…. I was thinking out of court settlement when I first read it yesterday. Man, I simply GOTTA find a way to sue Google… anyone… hmmmmmmm…. How about the ‘little green bar’ demotions as defamation of character? I guess that takes us back to KinderStart again huh? I will have to try harder… :0)

  • The best summary of what a “patent troll” really is I’ve ever seen came from Cory Doctorow. He talks about how in old business, patent holders were also in the business of making and selling things, so there was a sort of mutually assured destruction. i won’t bury you in frivolous patent lawsuits looking for a settlement, and you don’t do that to me.

    Now, patent trolls, that is all they do. they are in the business of owning patents and sueing other companies. That is how they make ALL of their money! Leeches I tell you. Adding no value to the world.

  • Sounds like a completely frivolous, mal-intentioned cause of action.

    And it’s a pity that the suit can’t be tossed out of court on grounds of lack of jurisdiction. Does this then mean that cause of action can be said to have arisen pretty much anywhere, because Google provides services all over the world? It is really preposterous that some two bit lawyer and litigant team can pick a symathetic court at will, who is most likely to give them a favorable ruling.

  • I wonder why it took so long for this lawsuit to surface. You would think something like this would be jumped on the moment it becomes evident. Also, doesn’t Google do any patent research before placing patents of their own? Good post!