04-21-2011 02:21 PM
04-21-2011 03:00 PM
The full name of the company that sued Google is "Bedrock Computer Technologies, LLC" and they file a lot of lawsuits. They have also sued redhat, and many others. I cannot find any record of Bedrock doing anything aside from filing lawsuits.
I don't know, but I suspect that Bedrock is one of those companie, that was created by a Linux competitor, just to harass those use, or contribute to Linux.
There is a lot of that sort of thing going on these days. MS has always hated Linux, and Google. Now that Google has Android, Apple also hates Linux, and Google.
Also worth noting, both ZDNet, and Florian Mueller, are strongly pro-Microsoft.
04-21-2011 04:48 PM - edited 04-21-2011 05:32 PM
Bedrock, it seems, is owned by a lawfirm form east Texas. If you know anything about all tech patent lawsuit scams going around, then you know that east Texas is the Mecca for those scams.
After quite a bit a research, I can find no records of Bedrock doing anything buy lawsuits. The company has no website, no products, no wikipedia entry, nothing like that. All I can find about Bedrock is loads of lawsuits.
Patent Litigation Weekly: PubPat and "Patent Troll" Make Strange Bedfellows
> Meanwhile, it's not unusual that a patent-enforcement company recently set up in East Texas would file suit there this week against ten Internet-based and software companies. Nor is it unusual that Texas corporate records show the company [Bedrock] is owned by an erstwhile big-firm lawyer, in this case David Garrod, formerly of Goodwin Procte
Although I don't trust Florian Mueller, I think it might be worthwhile to look at his blog article about this.
Florian provides court documents, and a description of the actual patent. I think it's amazing that the jury did not invalidate the patent. But then, that's fairly typical in east Texas.
I also found this 2009 slashdot article about Bedrock.
Patent Trolls Target Small East Texas Companies
> Posted by kdawson on Friday July 24 2009, @09:14AM
> from the patently-absurd dept.
> An anonymous reader writes "In a sign that patent trolls are getting desperate to keep their cases in East Texas — long known as the friendliest venue for their claims — some have taken to suing tiny, no-name companies that are run by East Texas residents. The hope is that, if at least one defendant is located in East Texas, the judge will keep the entire case there. Nate Neel, a Longview, Texas resident with a small open source software company called CitiWare, was sued by Bedrock Computer Technologies in June despite (he claims) having no customers or other meaningful operations of any kind. In response, Mr. Neel has posted a strongly worded letter to Bedrock's attorneys on his Web site. It will be interesting to see how East Texas judges respond to this abuse of process perpetrated against their own residents."
Seems that CitiWare has since gone about of business. Maybe this is a case of an open source successfully sued out of business. Another huge success for Microsoft.
Bedrock v Google story is now on slashdot.
04-21-2011 10:15 PM - edited 04-21-2011 10:20 PM
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols wrote a great article about the Bedrock v Google decision.
Idiotic Anti-Linux & Google Patent Decision.
> Red Hat has sued Bedrock to get the patent revoked for numerous reasons. Among others, they point out that Linux, which dates to 1991, predates the 1997 patent; that no one has ever used the patent; and that in any case Bedrock has no claims to the patent.
And PJ - from Groklaw - commented on Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols article:
> "If I might remind you, Mike Anderer told us years ago, back in 2004, that this was Microsoft's plan, to see to it that FOSS companies got sued over and over again for patent infringement, until they gave out: "In a world where there are $500 million dollar patent infringement lawsuits imposed on OS companies (although this is not completely settled yet), how would somebody like Red Hat compete when 6 months ago they only had $80-$90 million in cash? At that point they could not even afford to settle a fraction of a single judgment without devastating their shareholders. I suspect Microsoft may have 50 or more of these lawsuits in the queue. All of them are not asking for hundreds of millions, but most would be large enough to ruin anything but the largest companies. Red Hat did recently raise several hundred million which certainly gives them more staying power. Ultimately, I do not think any company except a few of the largest companies can offer any reasonable insulation to their customers from these types of judgments. You would need a market cap of more than a couple billion to just survive in the OS space." So that's what he said. And 50 or more lawsuits lined up means using proxies, obviously. Remember Microsoft trying to sell some of its patents that read on Linux, or so they claimed, to patent trolls? OIN played man in the middle on that one, but who is to say that was the only one? That's why it's an antitrust issue, I'd say, using patents like this as an anticompetitive weapon. And if you want to know what is wrong with software patents, the damage they are doing, read the quotations from various business executives (like Andy Grove) in the footnotes to this article."
No wonder Bedrock Computer Technology invented this ancient technology, they have certainly be around long enough.