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Xerox Sues Google, Yahoo Over Search Patents 202

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yet-apple-walks-away-free dept.
gnosygnus writes "Xerox Corp has sued Google, Inc. and Yahoo, Inc., accusing them of infringing the document management company's patents related to Internet search. In a lawsuit filed last Friday in the US District Court in Delaware, Xerox said Google's Web-based services, such as Google Maps, YouTube and AdSense advertising software, as well as Web tools including Yahoo Shopping, infringe patents granted as far back as 2001. Xerox seeks compensation for past infringement and asked the court to halt the companies from further using the technology."
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Xerox Sues Google, Yahoo Over Search Patents

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  • Re:Can someone help? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jambarama (784670) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {amarabmaj}> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:39PM (#31261602) Homepage Journal
    Somewhat ironically, Google offers information on these patents - number 1 [google.com] and number 2 [google.com]. Here's a more substantive article. [bit-tech.net]

    The bigger question is why not sue MSFT & as well - they're doing everything Yahoo & Google does. Perhaps Microsoft has many other patents they could use to retaliate against Xerox, something Google & Yahoo are a bit lighter on. Given these patents are more than a decade old, could Google & Yahoo make some sort of laches defense?
  • Re:Can someone help? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @01:48PM (#31261752)

    Xerox is not going after MS because MS licesnsed the patents for WinXP, (See: "C:\Program Files\Xerox" and this [windowsbbs.com]). They had to keep the Xerox directory to satisfy patent agreement. MS had this problem settled BEFORE the release of WinXP.
    Given that they are more than a decade old, they only strengthens them. Looks like Google/Yahoo are screwed.

  • Xerox won't win (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:01PM (#31261956)

    Both patents I've seen cited as applicable were granted (filed in 2001) in 2004.

    Given that they're just suing now, unless there's been extensive negotiation privately that's somehow managed to not leak out at all over 5-6 years (unlikely), Xerox probably won't be able to get any court to enforce shit. It's called laches - you have to actually work to minimize your damages. If you knowingly let infringers make use of your IP so you can sue them when they're worth something, you lose the ability to enforce your patent.

  • Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (Score:2, Informative)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:07PM (#31262064) Homepage Journal

    No, they screwed themselves. They built a machine that was far too expensive for the marketplace, and there was such poor leadership at Xerox, so the Star just didn't take.

    And it wasn't just Microsoft (or, more correctly, Apple) that benefited from Xerox PARC. The following technologies all were originally developed at PARC and their inventors went on to start their own businesses or work for other companies:

    - Ethernet: Bob Metcalfe went off to start 3COM
    - WYSIWYG word processing: Butler Lampson went off to work at DEC (He now works at Microsoft)
    - GUI: Most of the GUI programmers went to work at Apple.
    - Laser printers: The Laser printer guys went to work at Apple
    - PostScript: John Warnock took his invention with him he founded Adobe Systems (it's no surprise that Apple's LaserWriter was the first printer to use PostScript)

    and the list goes on. Today's corporate office PC network basically owes its existence to Xerox PARC and the Xerox Star.

  • by Svartalf (2997) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:29PM (#31262392) Homepage

    They make the current incarnation of the solid ink printer tech that got bought off of Tektronix, amongst other things.

    Solid ink produces much sharper results than color laser printers and seems like an overall win, but for some odd reason, while they've got units with price points that are reasonable (same basic pricing as comparable laser printers...), you just can't find them except through their reseller channels or online.

    I'd have to concur with your and the GP poster's assessment on this.

  • Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (Score:5, Informative)

    by north.coaster (136450) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @02:57PM (#31262752) Homepage

    I get your point, but need to mention that Xerox has been selling laser printers for many, many years. The book Dealers of Lightning [amazon.com] claims that their profits from laser printing have easily paid for all of the research done by PARC.

    Also, Xerox did not invent the mouse, and has never claimed to have done so.

  • by Teunis (678244) <teunis@NospaM.wintersgift.com> on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @03:24PM (#31263122) Homepage Journal
    I would suggest looking into the Ingres/Postgres historical code for prior art - or for that many, any of the pre-1991 database engines. If I remember correctly (from circa 5 years ago - the last time I looked at it) - the postgres code prior to the 1995 adoption by the PostgreSQL group had functionality in it under the first patent and was built during it's period before it became abandonware. I seem to remember similar functionality for text searches in DBase III, but I could be poorly remembering.

    As for the second - as the link is not valid - I would examine LISP designs for prior art circa 1956. Other environments since have also had "Method and apparatus for the integration of information and knowledge" - but LISP is one of the original to have this as an architectural component. I believe the 1945 paper used as a prototype for some of LISP design also had this, but I've misplaced the reference. (it's on one of the many, many fine lisp websites *grin*)
    Without more definition than a title, any expert system would qualify and much of all the historical research into Artificial Intelligence.
    *thinking* - expert systems may also hold prior art against the first patent as well.

    IANAL,and I'm rusty as all anything- but I hope it helps someone.
  • Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (Score:4, Informative)

    by chthon (580889) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @03:31PM (#31263236) Homepage Journal

    No, object oriented programming was invented in 1967 in Norway. The language was Simula 67. What Xerox came up with was the application of OO to graphical programming.

  • Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (Score:3, Informative)

    by tyrione (134248) on Wednesday February 24, 2010 @06:55PM (#31266056) Homepage

    Actually, Apple stole the tech from Xerox, then licensed the tech to HP and Microsoft.

    Xerox sued, but this was way back when. I don't think there was even a concept of a software patent when the Star system was developed. They originally tried to sue for copyright infringement, but the timing of the suit caused problems. They then tried to sue for unfair business practices. IIRC, they eventually settled out of court.

    You're wrong. Xerox was given the opportunity to invest $1 Million into Apple at pre-IPO status. Upon vesting it was worth approximately $125 Million to Xerox. They pocketed it immediately.

    Xerox corporate had no interest until after they saw the runaway success of Apple to try and then enforce patents already shown amicably to Apple. Apple hired 15 engineers away from Xerox who were the key creators of much of that work. The brain drain at Xerox PARC was their own fault was half their fault and half the fault of the engineers. The fact they let a bunch of Ph.Ds experiment and get paid while producing no loyalty to Xerox speaks volumes about PARC and the pricks who exploited this once in a life time opportunity. None of these engineers have an ounce of ethics in their bones. They all saw green, took the money and ran with it. We got 3Com, Adobe, more tech from Apple and much more. The engineers turned out to be the real thieves.

    There is a reason you sign NDAs today--there is always a precedence.

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