Google and Yahoo deny infringing search technology and information integration patents owned by copier maker Xerox and vow to vigorously defend themselves in court. Xerox alleges that products from Google and Yahoo infringe on two patent from 2004 and 2001. Xerox should not expect an easy resolution in these matters; Google and Yahoo own myriad patents and it's likely that they have patented technologies that are similar to the Xerox patents.
Google and Yahoo Feb. 23 denied infringing search technology and information
integration patents owned by copier maker Xerox and vowed to vigorously defend
themselves in court.
Xerox filed suit Feb. 19 alleging that products from Google and Yahoo
infringe on two patents: a 2004 patent on a "system for automatically generating queries"
2001 patent on a "method and apparatus for the integration of information and
(PDF) of using its AdWords and AdSense ad platforms to
automatically generate queries based on the content of Web pages to retrieve
Xerox further claimed that the Google Maps and Google Video applications
violate its 2001 patent because they integrate information related to maps and
Xerox said it warned Google about these violations but was rebuffed by the
company, which it claims is willfully violating the patents.
Google Senior Litigation Counsel Catherine Lacavera denied that Google
violated the patents in a statement sent to eWEEK: "These claims are
entirely without merit, and we'll defend vigorously against them."
However, Lacavera provided no explanation to counter Xerox's claims.
Xerox meanwhile said Yahoo's Search Marketing, Publisher Network and Y
Contextual Search technologies violate the company's 2004 patent by
automatically generating queries.
The printer maker also said Yahoo's Shopping e-commerce service integrates
information related to products and therefore violates Xerox's method and
apparatus for its integration of information and knowledge patent.
As with Google, Xerox said it had warned Yahoo of the infringement to its
patents but that Yahoo continued offering its services to consumers and
Yahoo spokesperson Dana Lengkeek told eWEEK, "Yahoo does not believe we
infringe and plans to fight this case." Like Google, Yahoo provided no
Xerox should not expect an easy resolution in these matters. Google and
Yahoo own myriad patents and it's likely that they have patented technologies
that are similar to the Xerox patents.
This is part of what makes software technology patents such a sticky issue
in the high-tech sector, and a big reason why Congress is considering an
overhaul of the U.S.
patent system, which has been in place since 1952.
Meanwhile, the federal International Trade Commission is investigating Apple's complaint
that the sale of certain
mobile communications and computer devices and components by Nokia infringes on
nine patents held by Apple.