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Another Patent Attack on Google with More Wild $$ Predictions ~pj
Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 10:05 AM EDT

Remember when there were all those scary headlines about Oracle suing Google for $6 billion for alleged patent infringement? Did that preposterous fantasy come true?

Instead, Google, without even any counterclaims of patent infringement to fire back, got almost all of Oracle's asserted patents tossed out as invalid by the USPTO in reexaminations. There's one left standing and another that might be valid if Oracle can successfully appeal a preliminary finding of invalidity by the USPTO, with a grand total of damages estimates from the court's independent adviser being less than a million, after adjustments, if Oracle can prove infringement, a very, very big IF.

Congratulations, Oracle, for shooting yourself in the foot.

Now there are some new scary headlines, like this one, "Why Google Might Be Going to $0" this morning about how much money Google will have to pay because Google is being sued by Vringo, Vringo calling itself I/P Engine in the litigation, with predictions that Google will surely settle to avoid being valued at zero by the time Vringo is done with it.


And guess who the principals of this newly patent-infused company used to work for, according to the NextWeb:

Fresh Vringo CEO Andrew Perlman used to manage licensing deals with Apple, AT&T, YouTube, ZTE, Nokia and Disney at EMI Music Group and Classic Media. Vringo chairman Seth Siegel, meanwhile, represented companies like AT&T, Microsoft, Apple and Ford Motor Company in trademark licensing.

Furthermore, joining the freshly created company as Special Counsel is David L. Cohen, who was previously senior litigation counsel at Nokia.

Well, well. Nokia and Microsoft. Partners at law, so to speak. Is this another Microsoft/Nokia outsourced production? Remember when Barnes & Noble told us that it views Microsoft and Nokia's patent campaign as an antitrust violation, a deliberate campaign to destroy Android and maintain Microsoft's monopoly on the desktop and extend it to smartphones, with Nokia piggybacking with its patents for weapons and MOSAID being brought in to do some of the dirty work?

So when you read the scare headlines, remember this: Google is awesome at patent litigation. It tends to prevail. I told you that when Oracle first sued Google, and did it prove accurate? Just because folks want Google's money, it doesn't mean they will necessarily get it.

It isn't just Google being sued, by the way. It's AOL, Time Warner, Gannett, Target, and IAC Search & Media. It's a dispute about AdWords and AdSense. Here's the complaint [PDF]. Note the stupid patents attached as exhibits 1, 2, and the other exhibits, 3 and 4, if you are allowed to look at patents [all PDFs].

Here's Google's First Amended Answer with Counterclaims [PDF], and with regard to the two patents asserted against Google in the beginning, it says: "Google denies incorporating any technology claimed by the '420 and '664 patents into any of its products....Google denies that Google products use the Lang/Kosak Relevance Filtering Technology." Google also says that the patents are invalid: "The claims of the I/P Engine patents are invalid for failure to satisfy one or more conditions of patentability set forth in Title 35 of the United States Code, including, but not limited to, 35 U.S.C. §§ 101, 102, 103 and/or 112." And it also says "Plaintiff's ability to recover damages is limited by the provisions of 35 U.S.C. §§ 286-287." That's the marking/notice requirement, which we've seen Google use effectively in the Oracle litigation.

And here's [PDF] Google letting the court know that it thinks the plaintiff is hiding the ball, trying to mask the true date of the patents, with the effect that Google can't know when to look for prior art. Here's the opposition [PDF]. Google eventually filed a motion [PDF] to compel the plaintiff to supplement its infringement contentions.

Vringo just merged in mid-March with the owner of the Lycos patents, which explains the sudden FUD, as the NextWeb explains:

Video ringtones and mobile applications development company Vringo, listed on NASDAQ, is merging with Innovate/Protect to grow its intellectual property portfolio....

The real reason is that Vringo hasn’t been performing well on the stock market since its 2010 IPO, and that trying to squeeze money from better-performing companies by threatening IP warfare based on software patents that should have never been granted looks like a more lucrative business to them.

For your information: you’ve likely never heard about Innovate/Protect because the company doesn’t actually build or sell things. Innovate/Protect is the owner of patent assets acquired from Lycos, a now-irrelevant search engine that was a big deal in the mid-late 1990s. In fact, Innovate/Protect’s chief executive officer, Andrew K. Lang, is the former CTO of Lycos and will serve in that role again at the combined entity after the merger transaction completes....

Guess what will likely happen next? That’s right, what we’ve all been waiting for: even more lawsuits that might stifle real innovation from real companies.


So, two companies that can't cut the mustard want all of Google's money for a couple of patents that shouldn't have issued in the first place. Software is mathematics. Mathematics is supposed to be unpatentable subject matter. Among other issues with these patents.

This Mr. Lang is the very Ken Lang who stars in the headlined article on Tech Crunch, "Why Google Might Be Going to $0", by James Altucher, an investor in Vringo:

I’ve read the patent case. I watched Hal Varian’s video. Also look at this link on Google’s site where they describe their algorithm. Compare with the patent claim. I have a screenshot if they decide to take it down. $67 billion in revenues from this patent. Imagine: double that in the next ten years. Imagine: triple damages.

Vringo will have an $80 million market capitalization post their merger with I/P. NTP won $600 million from RIMM using the same lawyer. RIMM’s revenues are a drop in the bucket compared to Google. And compared to 1000s of Google’s customers who will be embarrassed when the lawyer shows up at their door also. That’s why I made my investment accordingly. Is Google going to take the risk this happens?

I doubt it.

You can think to yourself: “ugh, patent trolls are disgusting”. But the protection of intellectual property is what America is built on. Smart people invent things. Then they get to protect the intellectual property on what they invents. Other companies can’t steal that technology. That’s why we have such a problem outsourcing to China and other countries where we are worried they might steal our intellectual property. Patents are the defense mechanism for capitalism.

So says folks like Microsoft. And they put their money where their mouth is. But what do *you* say? Is this acceptable to you? Seriously. Or not. Here's Seth Godwin's funny take today on Monetization and Fairness.

Zero, the man says. How could Google's value be entirely from two software patents? I mean, do people visit Google because they are yearning to see ads? Or is there *other* value that this company created that other companies, whose executives can't build into successful companies like Google, hope to dip into for some free money? Or is this not even about money? What if it's an anticompetitive move? Now what do you think of it?

I wish it was possible to sue the USPTO for all the damage they created by issuing patents so recklessly. There is no penalty to them, other than reputational; but they've created a tax on success, because now the successful companies must defend against trolls with a handful of stupid patents, some of which companies are being sent out as proxies for others, who'd rather not be clearly highlighted in public, I suppose.

Well, hopefully the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice will eventually take a look, a deep look, at all the coincidental or otherwise connections and take a stand to protect the US economy from this drain on innovation. Someone needs to fix the patent system before these software patent trolls destroy every successful US company by sucking its blood dry. Software and patents need to get a divorce.


Another Patent Attack on Google with More Wild $$ Predictions ~pj | 276 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Authored by: davecb on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 10:12 AM EDT
Please mention the news story's name in the top most post.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: alisonken1 on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 10:18 AM EDT
Change the title to the kerrections -> corrections and post any
extra info like where it's at in the comment.

- Ken -
Registered Linux user^W^WJohn Doe #296561
Slackin' since 1993

[ Reply to This | # ]

To Maths or not to Maths...that is the question
Authored by: maroberts on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 10:24 AM EDT
The question I suppose is whether the patent is pure mathematics or a specific
problem solved by use of mathematics formulae?

[ Reply to This | # ]

April Fools?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 10:38 AM EDT
The tech crunch article is so awful and alarming that I cannot help but wonder
if this is all an April Fools joke :/

[ Reply to This | # ]

Umm... PJ, Was the Article dated April 1st?
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 10:42 AM EDT
Ya gotta admit it was pretty funny.

Just thinkin

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another Patent Attack on Google with More Wild $$ Predictions ~pj
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 10:59 AM EDT
Sooo... a guy who has bought a load of shares in a company
as he is fuming about having missed the boat several times
before posts an article saying it is going to take Google to
the cleaners and take all their money - becoming, by
default, one of the richest companies in the world and there
is nothing but pure journalism going on.

Is it not diligent to suspect that the shares he buys will
be sold a long time before the court case starts and the
shares become worthless again?

If Lycos have a patent and invention to a technology that
was the cornerstone of Google's empire and it was able to
provide any company that held it with riches beyond belief -
then Lycos would not be little more than an Address on a far
flung DNS server somewhere.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to end patent trolls
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 11:47 AM EDT
Google should create a group with the soul purpose to
annihilate the patent pool of any company that sues them, and
the companies that are backing them. They shouldn't limit it
to patents in suit, but their entire patent pool. Simple,
just file reexamination requests on any patents that the
company controls that they think aren't valid. Do this once
or twice and no one will want to mess with you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic
Authored by: solbu on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 12:06 PM EDT
Please make links clickable. Also do use the preview function before posting, to
verify you do it correctly. :-)=

My posts/articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License.
PGP/GnuPG key: 0xFA687324

[ Reply to This | # ]

Counter point.
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 12:09 PM EDT
"Patents are the defense mechanism for capitalism."

Patents are an offensive weapon for the greedy.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Is Google going to risk that?"
Authored by: tknarr on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 01:04 PM EDT

I heard the same thing said before, that IBM wouldn't risk a trial against SCO. That Novell wouldn't risk a trial against SCO. That Google wouldn't risk a trial against Oracle. It seems to be the received wisdom among lawyers that defendants, even if innocent, would rather settle than risk a trial. And increasingly it seems as if the lawyers are lagging behind reality, that defendants will take it to trial when they feel they've a strong case and a likelihood of prevailing. I wonder if Vringo is as prepared as SCO and Oracle were for a defendant saying "Settle? Pffft. See you in court, and yes if we win we'll be asking for costs and fees.".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Other people making money
Authored by: tknarr on Sunday, April 01 2012 @ 04:52 PM EDT

"Still, I wanted to be the only one I knew who made money. I didn’t think it was fun when other people I knew made money."

Re-reading the article, this quote struck me. The sheer selfishness of it, the sheer and utter lack of empathy for anyone else, seems to me... terminally unhealthy. I certainly would never want to do business with him, and if he came wanting to invest in a company I was involved in I'd recommend telling him "Thanks but no thanks." and politely showing him the door.

[ Reply to This | # ]

,420 Patent
Authored by: cbc on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 12:04 AM EDT
When I got to the Detailed Specification I realized the value of this patent.
This is not just about search, this is about BIG direction. I get 20 e-mails
per day about big data. You just wait. Big direction is next and these folks
have it covered.

Did anybody in the patent lawyer's office or the USPTO read this nonsense?
Clearly not very closely. Or is it pay your money and get your rubber stamp?

[ Reply to This | # ]

And there will be MANY more like it...
Authored by: mtew on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 02:00 AM EDT
unless the LAWYERs are forced take on some of the risks of losing cases like
this. And I don't mean contingency fees. I mean their basic hourly charges and

If this does not happen, the lawyers will simply sell more get rich schemes to
unscrupulous companies and investors. The lawyers who do this kind of thing
really don't care if their clients lose, as long as their fees are paid and
expenses covered.

Yeah, I'm probably being a bit cynical, but the pattern is very obvious if you
look at the situation long enough...


[ Reply to This | # ]

Here's what I think. This is an MS fishing trip
Authored by: celtic_hackr on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 03:12 AM EDT
MS really, Really, REALLY wants to learn Google's super top secret engine
algorithms. This lawsuit seems aimed straight at them, by accusing them of using
someone else's old less effective algorithm.

In order to prove they are not using this algorithm, they'll have to disclose
what they use to the court, and MS is hoping to get a friendly eye and ear in
there so they can secretly incorporate Google's secret recipe into their own
proprietary hidden engines. Where no one will ever see they are using someone
else's technology.

That's WHAT I think this is all about. That or hoping to get Google to roll over
in order to not have to reveal the secret of their success.

That's what really bugs MS. They can't figure out how Google is so successful,
and it's gnawing at them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The real reason, and the real threat
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 03:51 AM EDT
Google has striven very hard in every court case brought
against their search technology to protect their trade secrets
and algorithms from outside eyes.

Microsoft and others have tried equally hard to get a peek at

This is nothing more than a conflated method of using
discovery to finally get a look at Google's techniques and

[ Reply to This | # ]

They are secretive
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 06:02 AM EDT
Very secretive: htt p:// url=

Date first seen unknown
DNS admin
Domain Registrar unknown
Reverse DNS
Organisation unknown
Nameserver Organisation unknown

One may perhaps say nearly almost virtually unknown.



[ Reply to This | # ]

Never again
Authored by: Ian Al on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 08:20 AM EDT
PJ made me read patents from Allen v. World, Microsoft v. TomTom, Oracle v. Google and Business Process Modeling Solutions v. Google.

I said to myself 'never again', and yet, here I am reading Vringo v. Google et al.

This one is different.

A search engine system is provided for a portal site on the queries. The search engine system also employs a collaborative/content-based filter to make continuing searches for information entities which match existing wire queries and are ranked and stored over time in user- accessible, system wires corresponding to the respective queries. A user feedback system provides collaborative feedback data for integration with content profile data in the operation of the collaborative/content-based filter. A query processor determines whether a demand search or a wire search is made for an input query.
Obviously, the 'wire queries' and 'system wires' are a major advance on website searches. I assume it is more related to 'advanced search' services.

So, I Googled the two 'wire' terms. The closest I came to 'wire queries' in computers was an invention by Mueller for A Query Compiler for FPGAs that searches for... wires. 'System wires' gave some useful advice on how to conceal my Hi-Fi wiring.

I looked for the precise definition of 'wires' in the patent since it is obviously a new software invention.
The integrated filter system compares received informons to the individual user's query profile data, combined with collaborative data, and ranks, in order of value, informons found to be relevant. The system maintains the ranked informons in a stored list from which the individual user can select any listed informon for consideration.

As the system continues to feed the individual user's "wire", the stored relevant informon list typically changes due to factors including a return of new and more relevant informons, adjustments in the user's query, feedback evalu ations by the user for considered informons, and updatings in collaborative feedback data.
Ah, so we have another computing term, 'informons', to Google. From Wikipedia:


[edit] Verb


first-person plural present indicative of informer
first-person plural imperative of informer
You couldn't make this stuff up!

Well, obviously, you can because Vringo did.

This is a search technique with made up terms to define the technique.

At this point, I decided to give up (sorry PJ) and I cannot comment on whether the following means anything in terms of a search engine technique:
34. The method of claim 30 wherein the step of providing feedback data comprises providing a combination of active feedback data and passive feedback data.

35. A search engine system comprising:

means for receiving informons from a network on a continuing search basis, for filtering such informons for relevancy to a query from an individual user, and for storing a ranked list of relevant informons as a wire;
Either this patent is a genuine and new technique for writing search engine software or it is a technique purporting to be that, but just something made up, with meaningless terms. I tend towards the latter, because it contains voluminous text giving examples on techniques you might use such as:
...process recurses upward and downward in the hierarchy,

Because no mind pool manager is required to have accurate information, but just an estimation of the rating and an uncertainty level, any manager may respond with a simple average of all previous documents, and with a higher degree of uncertainty, if none of its child-nodes has any rating information yet. The preferred distributed strategy tends to reduce the communication needed between processors, and the computation tends to be pooled, thereby eliminating a substantial degree of redundancy. Using this distributed strategy, Ihe estimations tend to settle to the extent that the updating of other nodes, and the other users predictions are minimized...

Approximations can be made by pre-computing all terms that do not change significantly, based on the particular informon, or the subset of actual ratings given so far to the mind pool manager.

As stated previously, the correlated-feature error- correction units (CFECUs) are intended to detect irregularities or statistical exceptions. Indeed, two objectives of the CFECU units are to (1) find non-linear exceptions to the general structure of the three aforementioned types of inputs (SFI, UFI, and CI); and (2) find particular combinations of informon sub-features that statistically stand out as having special structure which is not captured by the rest of the general model; and (3) trigger an additional signal to the CFECU's conditions are met, in order to reduce prediction error. The following exemplifies the CFECU operation.
This might be a genuine search engine technique or a load of pseudo-science with misused and made-up terms used in meaningless ways. Even if it is a real and innovative technique for designing a search engine, it is not patented functions that have the best mode of implementation of software programming. A programmer could not make one. The programmer would need an expert software designer to guess what this means in precise programming terms. This is not patentable subject matter

"Do you expect me to read the patent, Goldmember?"

"No, I expect you to pay!"

Never Say, Never Again.

Ian Al
Software Patents: It's the disclosed functions in the patent, stupid!

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Never again - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 09:22 AM EDT
    • Never again - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 03:04 PM EDT
    • Never again - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 07:01 PM EDT
  • Never again - Authored by: PolR on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 09:43 AM EDT
  • Never again - Authored by: cbc on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 02:59 PM EDT
  • Informons - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 08:13 PM EDT
Microsoft is......
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 09:02 AM EDT
Every Android cell phone manufacturer is paying Microsoft a fee for every
Android cell phone they make. So much for Google being awesome at patent

[ Reply to This | # ]

This could be even slimier
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 01:43 PM EDT
Why say, loudly and publicly, that Google is going to $0?

To put pressure on Google? Possible, but it's not very likely to work.

Or because you've sold Google short, and stand to make a killing on the dip,
even if the lawsuit fails?

This might not just be patent trolling. It *might* be stock market


[ Reply to This | # ]

Forget Oracle v. Google, this is SCO v. IBM all over again
Authored by: crs17 on Monday, April 02 2012 @ 03:31 PM EDT
Doesn't Microsoft have another playbook? This is so like SCO v. IBM that it's

1) Small techie firm acquires some intellectual property only peripherally
related to their current business:

SCO "buys" Unix.
Vringo buys Innovate/Protect.

2) The small firm makes claims about owning the whole world.

3)That firm attacks leader in the field operating at high volume:

SCO sues IBM (and Chrysler, etc). Threatens many others.
Vringo sues Google. Threatens many others.

This both shows how important Groklaw is. It also points us to a path that can
reduce the workload on Mark and pj and all of us. Instead of following Vringo
v. Google, perhaps we can just replay all the old SCO articles!

BTW Not surprisingly, Vringo's stock VRNG is up about 80% today. Give it time
and it will become a great stock to short.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Third Party Peer Reviewed Study Into Costs Imposed by Bad Patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, April 03 2012 @ 03:04 AM EDT

About 4-5 years ago I told a patent lawyer about some of these joke
patents. His take was that they were not enforceable, and that therefore
there would beno cost to the system.

He didn't believe me when I told him some cases had ended up in court...

I wish there was a Third Party Peer Reviewed Study into the costs to
Society of bad patents. If it could be placed in dollars and cents someone
might actually listen.


[ Reply to This | # ]

"Why Google Might Be Going to $0"
Authored by: YMHEE_BCEX on Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 03:24 PM EDT
Actually, the first time I saw this heading, I thought it meant that Google
*payment* might be going to 0... probably, some Freudian slip on the part of the
author :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

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