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Google, Amazon, and others sued for infringing on cloud computing and search patents

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Dec 2011 2:16 User comments (3)

Google, Amazon, and others sued for infringing on cloud computing and search patents PersonalWeb, a company based in Tyler, Texas, has filed patent infringement suits against a number of large tech companies, including Google, Amazon, VMWare, and NEC.
The company's location is notable only because Tyler, Texas has a reputation as the most friendly court in the US for patent lawsuits.

PersonalWeb is notably different from the typical company setting up an office in the East Texas town. In most cases those companies are non-practicing entities, more commonly referred to as patent trolls, who exist only to sue and produce no products of any kind.

While PersonalWeb has followed a path familiar to patent trolls in buying up patent portfolios from other companies, those patents are used in actual products, including StudyPods, an educational social networking platform currently deployed in Tyler, and an anti-piracy product called Global File System.

In fact, in their statement announcing the lawsuits PersonalWeb makes a point of mentioning both those products, begging the question of whether their sole purpose is to create a facade of legitimacy as a real tech company instead of a patent troll.

The patents PersonalWeb is accusing these companies of violating deal with, "cloud computing, distributed search engine file systems, and content addressable storage." They certainly seem like the typical vague patents you see patent trolls sue over regularly.

That certainly doesn't mean their suits will be unsuccessful, or even that they won't be settled to avoid a potentially costly loss. Keep in mind, they would be argued in the same court where Microsoft was ordered to pay more than $200 million in damages for a minor feature in Word.

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3 user comments

19.12.2011 04:26

Google should shut down all their services with a message that says, "Because of PersonalWeb we have disabled this feature"...the PersonalWeb offices would be burned to the ground within a few hours and the management would be hanging by their necks by nightfall.

29.12.2011 08:44

With today's consumers..? Nah. They'd just complain, then move on. People will swallow just about any corporate misbehavior, it seems.

39.12.2011 10:04

That is mostly true...but turn off google maps and things would get messy. Then again, without google maps, most people couldn't find the company headquarters in order to burn it to the ground.

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