Google Loses Linux Patent Lawsuit, Ordered to Pay $5 Million in Damages

Friday Apr 22nd 2011 by Staff

The decision could have big ramifications for Linux-based technologies, including Android.

ITWorld: A jury in eastern Texas has ruled that Google's use of Linux on its back-end servers violates a patent held by Bedrock Computer Technologies, a small Texas-based firm. Google was ordered to pay Bedrock $5 million in damages.

Observers say the lawsuit has far-reaching implications for all Linux-based technologies, including Android. Others say the patent in question, which covers "a method and apparatus for performing storage and retrieval...that uses the hashing technique with the external chaining method for collision resolution," is too broad to be enforceable.

A Google spokesperson said, "Google will continue to defend against attacks like this one on the open source community. The recent explosion in patent litigation is turning the world’s information highway into a toll road, forcing companies to spend millions and millions of dollars defending old, questionable patent claims, and wasting resources that would be much better spent investing in new technologies for users and creating jobs."

An appeal is likely.

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