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December 19, 2011
BT Jumps on the "Sue Google" Bandwagon
FOSSPatents is rapidly becoming my go-to site for everything related to European patent shitstorms. Yesterday's blog entry recounts how British Telecom is suing Google over, approximately, everything
BT alleges that Google's services - everything from Maps to Google+ - violate half a dozen patents that BT owns. FOSS includes a scribd link to the complaint and pointers to the six patents in the USPTO system. The patents themselves are old, and dense, and very broadly written. My extremely un-lawyerly opinion is that Google is indeed violating the patents as written, which means that either they pay up or they get the patents narrowed/invalidated. Given my fundamental believe that most software patents are overbroad crap issued without even a semblance of respect for prior art the choice for Google boils down to what would be less expensive: license or invalidation.
Neither is pleasant or cheap and the situation is muddled by the fact that BT is (according to Mueller) the fifth big company to sue Google over IP violations. Google thus has to consider the effect that settling any one of the suits would have on the others.
(h/t +Peter da Silva for the pointer forward.)
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