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back to article 'That new Google button was our idea', claims lawsuit

Google has reportedly been slapped with a lawsuit from a New York-based startup that claimed a video sharing feature added to YouTube and Google+ was similar to the one it pitched to the company in 2011. Be In, which maintains a website called CamUp, made the allegations in a suit filed [PDF] in San Jose, California on 28 June …

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Anonymous Coward

I expect like any sane business someone went "well, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to add that feature..." and thus it was written.

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Litigation like the eruption of Vesuvius. Impossible to avoid.

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Facepalm

Simplify it...

So they're basically claiming to own all usage and rights to hyper links?

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Re: Simplify it...

Well, no. They're saying 'we went to Google to pitch an idea, Google decided they liked it but didn't want to pay us for it, so they stopped answering our calls and implemented it themselves'.

Now there's all sorts of questions to ask there, and I can answer hardly any of them. Did it happen? I don't know. Presumably the company has evidence to present to a court, but one can't anticipate that process. If it happened, did any of the activity described constitute a criminal or civil offence? Ditto; that's for a court and judge/jury to decide, on the basis of the evidence, if it gets that far. But what the company is *claiming* is quite limited and specific, and it certainly isn't what you describe.

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Meh

Apple are getting away with enforcing far more trivial ideas...

...because they have the patents.

Part of the problem with ideas like these though, are that they are elegant and only "obvious" after you've seen them - that's the hallmark of a good idea (it's not just a hyperlink).

I'm surprised these guys went to talk with anybody, anywhere in the U.S. without some intimidating legal backup. I'm even more surprised they had backers - unless their business plan was precisely to honey trap Google.

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Re: Apple are getting away with enforcing far more trivial ideas...

I think there have been a "share" button in existence since from forever. Appending the word at the end of "share [things]" does not make a good patent. Even designing an entire software/mechanism to share such content is only good until someone makes a slightly different software/mechanism.

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Re: Apple are getting away with enforcing far more trivial ideas...

I'm sure Apple are getting away with that, but what does it have to do with this story which is about YouTube and Google+?

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Anonymous Coward

What a crock of shite

"The wording on the button is identical"

So they had a mock up of what the button would look like and had ideas of how to monetise that link. But exactly what it would do and how it would do it is a "trade secret" apparently.

Anyone care to see when they will sue Facebook for the Like/Share button - or any button that shares items with your friends or colleagues?

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Re: What a crock of shite

By any chance was the button "Share VIDEO"?!?! Wow, worthwhile patent. :P

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They had a great idea, maybe

They just didn't realise that Google are not Angels and that the world of Big Business is run by sharks.

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Sorry - according to the suit - They showed Google(UK) the idea in May2011 and then in June2011 Google released Google+ with similar functionality.

1) They are claiming that Google(UK) never mentioned that anything similar was in production... if you actually know how Google works - you will be aware that a team works on a project, pretty much in secret (look at every Android release and even the Nexus7) - I can quite easily believe that Google(UK) had no knowledge at all of the social network project.

2) Google might be extremely quick at iterations - but I'm really not convinced they could rip off another product of this sort of scale in just a month?

3) When Google+ launched - yes you could watch YouTube videos in a hangout with friends, but the button didn't appear on YouTube pages to watch the video in a hangout for at least another month after the launch.

4) When designing something that is based on some product that already exists - a good way to guarantee a chance of success is to fully explore the competing product looking for ways to make it better or do things in a more intuitive / less complicated way.

Additionally - this one I love:

"37. The Google+ hangouts feature also includes several elements of blah blah trade dress <snip> specifically the inclusion of several video chat screens directly underneath a main screen...."

Oh... you mean like... Skype? Or.... well pretty much any video chat system that involves more than 2 participants?

54 claims that people might be confused because Google+ hangouts look similar to CamUps system.... um.... no I am fairly sure people know when they are in a Google+ hangout....

Finally.... $75,000 - is that is - really - you claim a big company has ripped you off and you are only claiming $75,000 ?!?!

I'm not saying that Google didn't rip off someone else's product - because - well I don't know that - but - the timescale involved makes me highly suspicious that

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Facepalm

"I am fairly sure people know when they are in a Google+ hangout...."

Yeah. The tumbleweed's a dead giveaway.

Suing over a Google+ feature seems a bit like suing over something on Geocities.

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Trollface

The new U.S. patent law will stop this

There were a number of posts to El Reg about this, U.S. Patent law is no longer based on the inventor but first to file. If they didn't get a patent first and Google took what they showed them and filed for a patent, then they are SOL.

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Anonymous Coward

Google is a mushroom

It takes all the ideas out of the environment, integrates them into their monopolistic fungus of ad-supported services and kills any chance of life for the competition.

Now why would anyone would want to take their ideas to this...

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Headmaster

Re: Google is a mushroom

You misspelled Apple...

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JDX
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That new Google button was our idea

And the clue is in the word IDEA. Tough.

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Joke

Re: That new Google button was our idea

Windows 7 was my idea. You mean I can't sue Microsoft for £640K ?

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Re: That new Google button was our idea

Well since that is all you would ever need I don't see why not.

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Coat

Re: That new Google button was our idea

It's not the £640K that's important, it's the £4 million in "expanded money" that comes with it.....

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Pint

I had an idea, too

I thought it would be cool if there was some kind of device (like a back scratcher) where I could apply suntan lotion to my own back.

I asked at my local Walgreens about such a thing.

The saleswoman at the drug store thought the whole concept was preposterous.

Eventually I did find the thing at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, months later.

I suppose I COULD sue, since I had the idea before the product was available. It DOES look a lot like a back scratcher, just as I described.

But what kind of self-absorbed megalomaniac would I have to be to believe that this idea was so unique nobody else could have come up with it independently?

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Thumb Up

Re: I had an idea, too

They call them patent lawyers.

(thanks for setting that one up so obviously)

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Don't be evil...

My arse!

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Re: Don't be evil...

Do you talk to your arse often?

Does it answer?

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B-D

Re: Don't be evil...

>Do you talk to your arse often?

>

>Does it answer?

Both the main news article and this post reminded me of the Talking Arse sketch in William S Burrough's Naked Lunch, Peter Weller deadpan delivery of Bill Lee's story to Kiki and Yves Cloquet in the car was sublime.

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Joke

Re: Don't be evil...

Answer? Never! It's evil that way. I tell it, "Don't be an arse!" but does it listen? Of course not! It just says "Pbbttttt" and goes on doing whatever it was that it was doing.

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Anonymous Coward

amount

The low amount might be to encourage Google to just pay up as it'll cost more than that to get their lawyers to write a reply.

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Re: amount

"The low amount might be to encourage Google to just pay up as it'll cost more than that to get their lawyers to write a reply."

The low amount might but it also might encorage more trolls to try the same trick. Sometimes it can be cheaper to hit cases like this hard just to make the next person who thinks they can put it over Google think twice about it

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Synctube had a product in 2009. These guys had a pitch in 2011.

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here's an idea... how about we steal everyone's information and ideas and give them away for free bundled with some spyware?

google really is running out of their own ideas.

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It's not just Google

Video game makers have a similar problem. How to deal with unsolicited e-mails and post containing so-called great game ideas. They all just put them into the bin unopened. They need to protect themselves from the "you stole my idea" brigade. Same thing here. The idea itself is worthless, it's the implementation that's important. It's like me going to MS/whoever and saying I've got a great way for a program to be able to remember what the user was doing between sessions - I call it "Save File" - now I'll sue you for copying my idea!

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Stop

Be must think Google is like ..

Apple, when it comes to pinching IP>

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"extremely enthusiastic"

Or maybe just being polite and wishing lunch was over so they could get away?

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Anonymous Coward

MS launches coutersuit

This features been available on xbox live through netfilx and skyplayer etc since 2008.

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Holmes

I think you misunderstand

I think you misunderstand... the issue here is they had a meeting with Googles execs offering to sell them the idea. Googles execs openly like the idea but instead of paying for it just used it and told the company to get lost.

If Google were already working on the idea they'll have dated commented source code to prove it.

If they weren't working on the idea, then they stole it.

If you have a meeting with someone about an idea they propose, by having that meeting you are excepting that it's their idea, unless you can prove otherwise. If you didn't want to buy there ideas you shouldn't have had the meeting.

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Facepalm

Re: I think you misunderstand

"If you have a meeting with someone about an idea they propose, by having that meeting you are excepting that it's their idea, unless you can prove otherwise. If you didn't want to buy there ideas you shouldn't have had the meeting."

No patent, no copyright, no payment. Competitors copy each other's product improvements, that's pure capitalism working as the sky fairy intended.

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