Sunday, 24 April 2011

Google drops Linux copyright lawsuit

Google has lost a high wagers lawsuit in Texas that is lifting sharp concern that the Internet giant could face more such claims. A federal jury previous week rewarded Linux patent holder Bedrock Computer Technologies $5 million in the closely watched patent infringement case. It may be the first such award over the Linux kernel that is at the core of the open-source operating system. The lawsuit centered on Google's use of Linux, which runs its servers and is included in its popular Android mobile software.

The award was small Bedrock had sought more than $180 million but the allegation could be significant, spurring a flood of claims against other Linux users and spelling trouble for the open-source movement, according to intellectual property activist Florian Mueller. Bedrock is also suing Amazon, MySpace, PayPal, Yahoo and others. Red Hat, one of the largest distributors of Linux, is suing Bedrock, trying to invalidate its patent.

Google will carry on protecting against assault like this one on the open source community. The new 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.Apple sued Samsung Electronics, alleging it copied the design of the iPad and iPhone. Samsung's Galaxy products use Android software. Samsung countersued Apple. See more on the dispute between Apple and Samsung here.Google has often complained about what it calls frivolous patent lawsuits that stifle innovation. It also has advocated for patent litigation reform.


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