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Xerox Sues Google, Yahoo Over Search Patents

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the yet-apple-walks-away-free dept.

Patents 202

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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So you are saying (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261244)

that Google and Yahoo COPIED Xerox???

Re:So you are saying (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261422)

OH NOES! COPIEDED!

Re:So you are saying (4, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261436)

Let's hope for Xerox's sake that the court of jurisdiction is Soviet.

Re:So you are saying (1)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261472)

Dupe post.

Re:So you are saying (1)

mingbrasil (997857) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261972)

that Google and Yahoo COPIED Xerox???

No... They xeroxed a copy

Re:So you are saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31262164)

No no... They xeroxed xerox. :)

Re:So you are saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31262172)

YeeeeeeeAaaaaaaa!

Perhaps... (1, Funny)

FF8Jake (929704) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261248)

Yahoo and Google used a Xerox copier to take a copy of the technology for themselves?

Re:Perhaps... (2, Funny)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261280)

... ditto ...

Re:Perhaps... (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261382)

I&Rs%UFL&^

what the heck??

stupid mimeograph, I can't read any of this!

Re:Perhaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261326)

Yahoo and Google used a Xerox copier to take a copy of the technology for themselves?

Re:Perhaps... (1)

FF8Jake (929704) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262032)

Nice, Anonymous Coward submitted the same thing a couple seconds earlier and I get modded redundant. Clearly, my copy is the cleaner one here and not cluttered with excess question marks. I will be taking my copying needs to Google and Yahoo.

Can someone help? (2, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261260)

Anyone have a link to this patent? The summary fails to accurately describe what it is they patented - though the impression I get is... Practically Everything?

Re:Can someone help? (5, Informative)

jornak (1377831) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261304)

Re:Can someone help? (5, Funny)

jornak (1377831) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261340)

The ironic thing is that, if I understand correct, Google Patent Search (what I used to find these patents) would be in violation of these patents...

Re:Can someone help? (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262326)

Why am I reminded of the quote about understanding recursion?

Re:Can someone help? (4, Funny)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262616)

because, in order to be reminded of the quote about understanding recursion you must first be reminded of the quote about understanding recursion. and you were.

Re:Can someone help? (2, Informative)

jambarama (784670) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261602)

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? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can someone help? (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262570)

Wouldn't such a suit be more appropriate to suing over Bing than over WinXP anyway? Also, I've never had a C:\Program Files\Xerox folder in any windows installation I've ever used at home (though there is one on my work machine).

Re:Can someone help? (1)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261748)

Well, since Xerox invented practically everything, that would make sense.

My new patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31262266)

A system generates an interface to query information stored on a hard disc drive. When the information is obtained and processed it is displayed to the user.

Can you say "Patent troll"? (1)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261270)

I can: PATENT TROLL. Just because people don't use paper anymore...

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261310)

Well now if it was the OLD xerox... yeah... maybe not a troll. They invented alot of the crap we use today.

But this is the new xerox. so it might be a troll.

Haveta read their bs to find out which one is in court this time.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (1)

unts (754160) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261320)

Xerox have done a lot of innovation in the past, particularly at Xerox PARC [wikipedia.org] . They practically invented the GUI.

So although their claim might be a little... erm... aggressive, don't be too quick to dismiss them as a mere patent troll.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (3, Insightful)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261454)

I recognize their historical importance in IT, but the past is past. Whoever is calling their shots now is acting like a patent troll. This isn't the first time, either.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261942)

To quote Eddie Murphy, from when he was cool, "What have you done for me lately!?"

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261540)

And once upon a time SCO was a respectable Unix vendor.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (1)

unts (754160) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261734)

Point taken.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (4, Insightful)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262268)

...They practically invented the GUI.
...and if they'd be able to patent it, we'd still all be running DOS, since Xerox never came out with a GUI product. Such is the power of software patents to drive innovation (into the ground).

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262396)

Actually, many of us would be running Linux, just as we do today. Just that we would use the command line exclusively.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31262548)

Xerox has done a lot of innovating. They have also quite famously totally failed to properly DO anything with the things they've created. We could have had something akin to Java a lot earlier in the form of Smalltalk-80. Xerox in their "wisdom" decided to charge a king's ransom for it forever enshrining it in it's ivory tower. It took Apple, Microsoft and Amiga, Inc to bring the windowed interface to the world, despite Xerox having the working system right in front of them (again, in the form of Smalltalk-80).

So Xerox missed the boat...nay, the entire 20 year revolution of home computers and business computing without so much as a "duh?" Guess there's not much left to do but become the next great patent troll, now that SCO is out of the picture. See Bing in that lawsuit anywhere? Of course not...look not behind the curtain, mortal.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (2, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261458)

I agree, but not because they are suing for patent violation. I agree, because they waited almost 10 years to enforce this patent. Why the wait? Presumably these companies were in violation for longer than just the past year or 2. And it's not like they can say that they "just found out that they existed"...

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261832)

Since 2003 in fact (Google AdWords, anyway). Since the patents are dated 2001 and 2004 (if I'm not mistaken, I RTFA'd earlier today on firehose), that would be rather surprising.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (4, Interesting)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262038)

after discovery of infringement (maybe a couple years after the event), they could have attempted to come to an agreement with both entities. Negotiation might have broken down and now the patent holder's last recourse is an infringement suit.

Wouldn't be the first time that series of events occurred, especially when multiple patent-lawyer-loaded parties are involved, and it would create a legitimate delay before filing suit.

Be interesting to see what the details actually were, however.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (4, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262206)

Even at that, more than 2 or 3 years, and I call troll. Either that, or incompetent leadership. Can you say that a negotiation that lasted for presumably as much as 6 to 10 years broke down initiating this suit? Plus, they filed suits against multiple parties. If they did one today, and another in 6 months than your theory would be much more plausible. But as it appears now, I can't see how it can be anything but "troll".
  1. "Innovate" an interesting idea, patent it, and do nothing with it
  2. Wait for others to independently develop the same idea, and do nothing about it
  3. Wait for others' products to launch, and do nothing about it
  4. Wait for others' products to gain market penetration, then sue their asses off for infringement
  5. Profit

If there's a better definition of a troll, I don't know what it is...

Do you just say that every time? (3, Insightful)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261862)

I can: PATENT TROLL.

I know it's in vogue here on Slashdot to scream "Troll!" anytime a patent holder sues for infringement, but "patent troll" really means something distinct from "patent suit."

From the Wiki, a patent troll is someone who:
* Purchases a patent, often from a bankrupt firm, and then sues another company by claiming that one of its products infringes on the purchased patent;
* Enforces patents against purported infringers without itself intending to manufacture the patented product or supply the patented service;
* Enforces patents but has no manufacturing or research base
* Focuses its efforts solely on enforcing patent rights.
* Asserts patent infringement claims against non-copiers or against a large industry that is composed of non-copiers

TFA and TFS are thin on details, so there is no evidence to support the idea that Xerox is doing any one of these.

Re:Do you just say that every time? (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262050)

I don't see Xerox intending on doing an internet search engine...ever. So, you're kind of wrong on that count.

Re:Do you just say that every time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31262416)

Actually Xerox did create an internet search product (AskOnce) and uses the technology in other applications (I think). This is not patent trolling.

And Xerox continues to innovate in printing technologies as well as many areas of software and document integration. Far from irrelevant and far from needing to live on the patent portfolio - actually they just bought a couple of companies for something like $6Billion USD.

Re:Do you just say that every time? (1)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262072)

* Asserts patent infringement claims against non-copiers or against a large industry that is composed of non-copiers

This fits closely. Besides, why did they wait 10 years to file this suit? I'll tell you why: There is no patent infringement, but XEROX is looking for an easy settlement to fatten the piggy bank.

Re:Can you say "Patent troll"? (3, Interesting)

Creepy (93888) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262406)

Except patent trolls file in east Texas, not Delaware. Most patent trolls create a shell office in Texas just so they can file cases there - in fact, I believe setting up shell offices was Texas' biggest growth industries during the recession.

Go America! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261292)

Go America! Way to pervert research into something that lets slow old giants make innovative technical companies suffer financially, all while making lawyers rich.

Re:Go America! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261424)

Go America! Way to pervert research into something that lets slow old giants make innovative technical companies suffer financially, all while making lawyers rich.

I believe the point of the lawsuit is that Google, and Yahoo did not innovate. They infringed.

Re:Go America! (1)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261642)

Technically that's true, but I think the implication is false. To me at least, you statement implies that they "cheated" (knowingly infringed). Multiple people can come up with strikingly similar results from completely different angles (with respect to algorithms especially). The first is by definition innovation. Wouldn't the second still be innovation (so long as they didn't know about the first)? Sure, the results are very similar to the first, but the method used was genuine. So I believe both can be classified as innovation. If the second knew of the first, then it's no longer innovation and could possibly become innovation at that part. It's not how the system works, but perhaps it should be (Otherwise you reward the first to develop, and penalize --perhaps unjustifiably-- all others... Just my $0.02

Re:Go America! (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261850)

And Google and Yahoo! did something with it.

What did Xerox do with this particular bit of "innovative" property.

Re:Go America! (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262414)

What did Xerox do with this particular bit of "innovative" property.

Patent it.

Re:Go America! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261492)

And whose idea was it to make things this way? Why, a lawyer of course!

Real Goal: Cross-Licensing? (5, Insightful)

Shadowhawk (30195) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261298)

My guess is that Xerox isn't looking for any big payout, but rather some kind of cross-licensing deal for patents.

Re:Real Goal: Cross-Licensing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261390)

I don't think the others have a good enough patent portfolio for Xerox to be targetting. They likely want to force their patents to be licensed, and lots of $$$ from "past damages".

Remember: Xerox used to be a MAJOR force in R&D, and still has some very very valuable patents. They're not patent trolls, rather they are a lot more like IBM: they created a LOT of patents, many of them for non-obvious, very interesting inventions... like the Mouse.

Re:Real Goal: Cross-Licensing? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261690)

SCO wasn't a patent troll once also.

Re:Real Goal: Cross-Licensing? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261764)

they created a LOT of patents, many of them for non-obvious, very interesting inventions... like the Mouse.

Which is not to say that they actually produced those inventions: patenting does not equal innovation or creativity. Doug Engelbart (who was working at Stanford at the time) is usually credited with the invention of the mouse. So, while PARC certainly used the mouse in their Smalltalk GUI, they didn't invent it. Furthermore, patents or not, if a corporation has reached the point where they are expecting to survive financially off their patent portfolio, well, let's just say that they're past their prime.

And who says the mouse wasn't obvious? Actually, it's pretty damn obvious, particularly considering that it was invented in 1968 or thereabouts.

Re:Real Goal: Cross-Licensing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31262330)

So anything that was invented a long time ago was obvious THEN? Or are you just saying that as a retrospective it LOOKS obvious because you have been using one all your life? Honestly, all inventions could seem "obvious" to folks who have had access to them all their lives. But most of them probably weren't obvious at the time they were invented.

Article summary (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261316)

"We want your cake too. And it'll cost us less in legal fees than the potential benefit. That's a mighty nice website you have there. It would be a shame if anything were to...happen... to it. Probable result: cross-licensing agreement to patent portfolio to lock out smaller competitors, higher costs for consumers in countries with strong IP laws. "

girlintraining summary (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261676)

"wah wah i'm a lesbian and no one will listen to me unless i whine about everything and act bitchy"

article summary:

"Compensate us for our work."

Let the Troll Wars begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261324)

Who's that I hear walking across my bridge?

Re:Let the Troll Wars begin (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262132)

Who's that I hear walking under my bridge?

FTFY

Timeframe (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261372)

How long can you sit on a patent before you have to start going after people?

It would appear to me that Xerox must have been sitting on this for quite sometime.

It is also odd how Microsoft is not included in this, Yahoo and Google, but not Microsoft in a search related patent case?

Re:Timeframe (5, Interesting)

pavera (320634) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261446)

Patent law is retarded. You can sit on a patent for 19 years and 11 months. There is no requirement to go after people to keep a patent enforcible. You can patent something and wait for the entire term of the patent for someone to actually invent/commercialize what you have patented, and then sue them at the 11th hour and take as much money from them as the courts will give you.

The exclusion of microsoft is interesting, perhaps MS already has a cross licensing deal with Xerox?

See laches (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261744)

You can sit on a patent for 19 years and 11 months. There is no requirement to go after people to keep a patent enforcible.

Citation needed. Where I come from, they have something called equitable estoppel. In this case, you're looking for laches [wikipedia.org] .

Re:See laches (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262378)

Well, where the rest of us come from they have something called "lawyers", which renders your equitable defence moot.

Re:Timeframe (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261756)

should make a law where any patent has to be developed for actual use by the patenter or official licensee within one year of being granted, otherwise it's revoked, but this is the least of what's wrong with the stupid over-litigated patent system in this idiotic fucking country

Re:Timeframe (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262108)

Actually, no, you can't sit on it and expect to be able to enforce it like you imply.

You don't lose the patent like you do with Trademark- but if you delay, the range of things that ends up happening goes from no damages to an inability to enforce against the infringers that you didn't enforce against during the time you "sat on it". Subsequent infringers can be enforced against during the life of the patent- but not the others if you delay any substantive time on it from the moment that the infringement becomes obvious to you or should have been so.

Re:Timeframe (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261460)

They probably tried to actually find something using Bing and decided they wouldn't have a case.

Xerox Gets a Pass (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261432)

Given their contributions to the PC, I'm giving them a pass on this one. Cut them a check and send them on their way.

Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261516)

They didn't make those contributions to the PC out of altruism.
It was done for profit.

So I say don't cut them any check unless they have a valid claim befitting of recompense. And even then only if the patents in question are non-obvious and not overly broad.

Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (4, Interesting)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261794)

Xerox is notable for failing to commercialise or profit from PARC's accomplishments, including the invention of the gui, laser printing, bit-mapped graphics, the mouse, and Ethernet. It is the most monumental example of dropping the ball that I can think of.

Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262554)

Xerox is notable for failing to commercialise or profit from PARC's accomplishments, including the invention of the gui, laser printing, bit-mapped graphics, the mouse, and Ethernet. It is the most monumental example of dropping the ball that I can think of.

Plus object-oriented programming, They invented that too.

Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261518)

Microsoft is the one who screwed them the most regarding their contributions to the PC yet that is one of the search engines that is not being targeted.

I'd say the pass is revoked.

If they were merely screwing over those who screwed them over I would agree, but that does not appear to be the case here.

Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262064)

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.

Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (0, Offtopic)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261592)

You might want to edit that sig.
There are 42 million people in slavery worldwide right now, and communism is alive and well.

Re:Xerox Gets a Pass (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262150)

I'm not cutting them any slack. Roughly 7+ years to determine if they're infringing and not enforcing their rights is a bit beyond the pale and is very probably subject to equitable estoppel out of the gate. They very probably shouldn't have ran this one up the flagpole in the first place- and it's very, very patent-trolly. Patent trolls do not get an out no matter what their past contributions might have been.

How do I get in on this? (4, Funny)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261448)

Dear Google, Yahoo, and anyone else who has more money than I do. I would like some of your money. Please give me some money or I will have to sue you for it. Thank you and have a nice day.

Re:How do I get in on this? (3, Funny)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261784)

sue them for causing you mental anguish over the fact that they have more money than you'll ever see

Remember when PARC actually invented stuff? (4, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261466)

Good times, but how the mighty have fallen these days. I for one miss the idea of a pure research group.

Re:Remember when PARC actually invented stuff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261568)

If you want pure research, you have to fund them. Given that science seems to be a dirty word nowadays, I'm not hopeful for the future.

Re:Remember when PARC actually invented stuff? (3, Insightful)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261820)

Science, logic, critical thinking, simple human decency...notice that the 21st Century seems to be going the opposite direction all the popular old sci-fi said it would? We should sue.

Re:Remember when PARC actually invented stuff? (4, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261698)

Yeah, it sounds to me like Xerox is facing increasing irrelevancy, and has decided to turn to litigation as a new revenue stream. I [ugh, sadly] do a lot of purchasing of office equipment, and now that I think of it, I have not even once considered a Xerox product in the last 6 years that I've worked here. I'm not even sure what they're up to anymore.

Re:Remember when PARC actually invented stuff? (2, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262392)

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:Remember when PARC actually invented stuff? (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261772)

Good times, but how the mighty have fallen these days. I for one miss the idea of a pure research group.

Yeah ... no kidding. Put Bell Laboratories on the short list as well.

Re:Remember when PARC actually invented stuff? (3, Insightful)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261966)

Too bad management at PARC were too retarded to profit from what the guys (and gals) there invented (they were 10 years ahead)

researchers: "We've invented the GUI, OO programming, etc, etc"
managers "hurr durr durr what's that hurrrr"

Delaware? (2, Funny)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261480)

They filed in Delaware? Don't they know all suits like this seem to be required to be filed in East Texas!

Re:Delaware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31261938)

That's because this one is fully legit. MS licensed the infringing patents before they released WinXP.

does Darl McBride work there now? (1)

doubleyou (89602) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261654)

Nice to see Darl McBride landed on his feet and got a job working for Xerox. :-P

Seriously, is this the litmus test for tech companies that are circling the drain?

Xerox invented everything! (0, Flamebait)

Halotron1 (1604209) | more than 3 years ago | (#31261936)

So seriously, Xerox invented the GUI, then Apple and Microsoft stole it [wikipedia.org] .

Now Xerox invented internet search, then Google and Yahoo stole it?

They must be smartest programmers in the world, with the worst marketing department ever.

Re:Xerox invented everything! (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262454)

Actually, that would be closer than you'd think to the truth. They did a lot of all of this themselves and the upper management couldn't think past their core business, copiers, for the longest time.

As it stands, they can't seem to get the gem of print tech in the form of solid ink past a few models in their lineup- and while they've got a compelling story on it with price, ink, etc. such that it is actually largely better than color/b&w lasers and competitive with inkjets- you pretty much won't find one anywhere save online through them or through their reseller channel.

It's not their engineering, it's the upper management- and this lawsuit shows they still don't "get it".

Xerox won't win (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Prior Art for search'gVeronica,Archie,Wais,Gopher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31262048)

Previous document search methods that were done in the 90's and earlier for text and website frontends are:

a). Veronica and Archie
b). WAIS
c). Gopher
d). News by dialup and and internet
e). webcrawlers
f). database queries using webfrontends and opensource DBMS'

patent should have been denied.

Go Xerox !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31262138)

So much for the Google's "DO NO EVIL".

You better backup your Google "docs".

Yours In Vladivostok [youtube.com] ,
K. Trout

I'm fine with it if they sue facebook, myspace... (2, Interesting)

Sleeping Kirby (919817) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262186)

any and all podcast grabbers, twitter, flicker, friendster, eharmony... let's see... what other social/popular sites do people keep tell me to join.... There needs to be a law where if you are going to sue for tech patent infringement, you need to sue all the companies that have infringed at once or none at all.

Robert Frost (2, Funny)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262296)

"Will the world end in fire or ice?"

Neither, Bobby; it's gonna be lawsuits.

"Xerox sues someone for copying?" (1)

argent (18001) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262300)

Still one of the best headlines ever.

What?!?!? (1)

iceT (68610) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262324)

No Bing?

Re:What?!?!? (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262488)

What's Bing? ;-)

In this thread: (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31262344)

Xerox demonstrates very clearly and loudly, after the fashion of patent trolls worldwide, that as a company they realize they are no longer relevant, and seek to rectify the situation. Translation: Xerox has become an attention whore. Memo to Xerox: you might have better luck with camwhoring.

Patent problem solved! (3, Interesting)

msimm (580077) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262412)

Personally I think patents are great, they give innovators a way to protect innovations giving them a small lead to jump-start their project. In fact, I'll go so far as to say I think patents could solve much of the trouble we are currently having pulling our selves/society in to the digital information age.

Bear with me..

The problems with patents as they currently stand is they are often used as bullshit tools whihc stifle technology in an attempt to extort or monopolise any technology or idea. What once might have been a useful tool has become a strategic game-piece often crippling American innovation when it was intended to encourage it.

But I don't believe the answer is to abolish the system, or even to make it increasingly difficult to make use of, that would punish legitimate users and patent trolls and legal firms would no doubt find ways to continue around it.

What I'd like to see is it remain almost exactly as it is today, with a few small changes:
  • Patents should be granted rapidly. Pending patents help no-one while discouraging research and innovation. Either you have one or you don't.
  • Patents should be reasonably easy to get. We should encourage their use, with a few sensible restriction (below).
  • Patent length should be very short. The protection they provide should last no more then 1-3 years. When a patent expires competition should be able to immediately begin.
  • Patents sole purpose should be to encourage innovation. Patent trolling and patent portfolios do nothing towards this end and actively, often parasitically discourage it and a great cost to the society they depend on.
  • Businesses that can't gain a reasonable advantage using a patent protected 1-3 year monopoly should not indefinably limit those that might.
  • Patents should only be granted for new ideas or new technologies and should never extend their protection onto old or existing technology. This is particularly important for software, where new code should be patentable (explained below) but at the end of the patents term only additions or patches might be considered new and therefore patentable.
  • Patenting code should be valuable because it would allow developers benefit from their work without relying on strictly on licensing or obscuring code through binary blobs. Quality projects would still could continue funded development with changes and updates eligible for patent protection. Of course nothing requires that anyone patent such work, or that should they chose to patent it that they drop protective licenses or release source. But we're heading towards a future where the user will be increasingly technical and black-box application may eventually find they have a disadvantage in the marketplace. Should they chose to make their products reasonably open source and use patent provisions to protect their business process it's possible that both society and business might benefit from a new form of commercial open source.

It's probably worth noting that software companies which wish to keep their code and related processes black-boxed would still have several options, one obvious option (aside from restrictive licensing and binary only releases) being SAS, where they control the process by keeping access to all relevant code and business systems themselves, only pushing relevant/needed data out to the client front-end. SAS is really the ultimate black-box solution and it protect your property from just about everything but internal abuse (staff, break-ins, social engineering) and network related penetration. And that's nothing new.

Sorry about any grammaros/typos/spellos. I just wanted to get these ideas out while there was still active discussion. Over the past several years I've begun to strongly believe our own enemy (patents - via trolling/hording and other related anti-competitive business practices) are actually our best hope for a sensible business/technology future.

Time Frames (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262444)

They should definately put shorter time frames on these. Go after them when they are small, and you never have to worry about them continuing to use your patent.

Wait until they make millions or billions instead of taking care of it when you knew this happened: then you are just after money.

Sure, companies need to put their foot down so that other companies do not walk all over the patents, but when you wait almost 9 years to fo anything for some of these, than obviously you are not caring that much about your patents for allowing another company to use it for that long.

Oh no. Here I go again... (3, Funny)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262474)

Now I'm going to have to sue Xerox for violating my patent for the business process of how to make money from companies using ridiculous patent infringement lawsuits.

Dang, comma (1)

ittybad (896498) | more than 3 years ago | (#31262502)

Xerox Sues Google, Yahoo Over Search Patents
Because of a lawsuit between Xerox and Google, Yahoo is now no longer "in to" search patents?
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