back to article Judge: Google owes patent troll a 1.36% cut of AdWords' BEELLIONS

Patent-holding company Vringo has won a legal victory against Google that could net it hundreds of millions of dollars per year in ongoing royalties from the Chocolate Factory's AdWords online advertising system. According to court documents [PDF] obtained by The Register, Judge Raymond Jackson of the US District Court of the …

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Roo
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Windows

Hats off to the Troll who stabbed snoring Gulliver in the eyeball.

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Re: Hats off to the Troll who stabbed snoring Gulliver in the eyeball.

Indeed, I love seeing a bit of fight back from the little-man too. Unfortunately, I read the following about Vringo:

Shares outstanding: 84,125,738

Price per share: $4.790

From: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=VRNG#.UuoJoRB_uGc

If I read that right, it would make Vringo worth $402,962,285, not exactly a small company. Now had the patent belonged to Gary who lived in a three bedroom terrace in the center of Sheffield, THAT would have really made me cheer!

As it is, perhaps Vringo is more like Gulliver's little sister who just kicked him in the gonads, rather than a Lilliputian stabbing with a knitting needle sized spear while attempting to balance on Gulliver's left eyebrow! But even so, way to go sis!

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Roo
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Re: Hats off to the Troll who stabbed snoring Gulliver in the eyeball.

"Indeed, I love seeing a bit of fight back from the little-man too."

Actually that isn't really the sentiment I have, it's more of a case of "well played". Even though I think patents are a particularly stupid waste of everyone's time and resources, I still appreciate the skill involved in hi-jacking someone else's revenue stream. Same goes for Microsoft's taxation of Android. It's a neat trick being able to impose a tax on your competitors ! :)

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Re: Hats off to the Troll who stabbed snoring Gulliver in the eyeball.

"Even though I think patents are a particularly stupid waste of everyone's time and resources"

Without them no little man with a big idea would ever earn what he deserves for his work.

Without them, medical research would slow to a crawl, as would many other fields: Why spend millions in research when you can wait for someone else to and steal their ideas?

Patents are a crucial part of our development as a species. Don't confuse the litigatious nature of large companies and trolls or the poor approval process taint your view of them.

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Re: Hats off to the Troll who stabbed snoring Gulliver in the eyeball.

Software patents are very different to medical research patents. Medical research patents are there to protect the millions spent on researching drugs and medical techniques. That company has no incentive to do so if it is not able to reap exclusive benefits to that. Software patents do not require millions to be spent in order to patent an idea. And as Apple has proven time and time again, it doesn't stop a company from patenting a common idea that already exists just to make it more difficult for it's competitors. Software patents do nothing but hamper innovation and hurt consumers.

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Re: Hats off to the Troll who stabbed snoring Gulliver in the eyeball.

"Microsoft's taxation of Android"

Microsoft's "taxation" of Android is based in legitimate invention of an actual thing that Google has no issue paying. Microsoft have been making smartphone software since before Google even existed - huge difference.

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Facepalm

@ Streaky

You really need to go and look again at the MS tax on Android.

Its commonly beleived to be on the transfer of files etc when connected to a computer and is a PC software patent and not a mobile one.

Also Google arn't paying it, phone makers like HTC are so again fail.....

Oh and a software protocol is not a thing as a thing is something that can be touched / handled etc.

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Re: Hats off to the Troll who stabbed snoring Gulliver in the eyeball.

"Software patents are very different to medical research patents."

I'd agree.

But, the author did not say 'software patents'. They said 'patents'.

And I'd have to be devoid of common sense to agree with their sentiment.

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Anonymous Coward

I shouldn't laugh, but...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha! Ha ha!

Ha!

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Re: I shouldn't laugh, but...

"Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha! Ha ha!Ha!"

What he said.

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Re: I shouldn't laugh, but...

Laugh if you want, but ask yourself where does the money come from ultimately? That's right, us consumers.

Laughing now?

Google's advertising blackmail system means that everything we buy costs a little bit more than it should. These days you pretty much have to advertise on Google or go out of business. Every advertising trick that Google develops means having to buy it or see your competitors get your customers. And that cost is passed on to us.

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@bazza Re: I shouldn't laugh, but...

I buy things and stuff. I've never seen the things I buy advertised on Google. (Having said that, I use AdBlock and don't pay attention to webverts.) Are you saying that the majority of people won't buy anything they need/want unless it's advertised on Google?

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Anonymous Coward

don't be silly

Were Google not to exist, companies would still advertise; though it would probably be less effective and more costly. Businesses are not so stupid that they would flock to an advertiser that is not giving them better value.

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@bazza

"Laugh if you want, but ask yourself where does the money come from ultimately? That's right, us consumers. Laughing now?"

That's not as insightful you think it is. I have many times said that Google's business is based on extortion; here's what I said on a thread here two days ago: "Google siphons off $50 billion a year from the economy, they create nothing and destroy quite a bit, and the pay that their parasite-employees get has raised the cost of living to the point where people are beginning to take direct action." And I have excoriated Google here many many times for the harm they do to others by their refusal to recognize anyone's IP rights but their own. I won't even go into their funding of counterfeit drug sites, their funding of pirate software, music, and film sites, etc etc.

Whether it's producers or consumers, Google harms them all.

What might have been nice would have been if, instead of pointing out the obvious, you had mentioned a solution. However, the only solution would seem to be legislative...

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Vic
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Re: @bazza I shouldn't laugh, but...

> I've never seen the things I buy advertised on Google.

If I'm not using AdBlock or similar, I *always* see the things I buy advertisied on Google.

*After* I've bought them.

I cannot be alone in this...

Vic.

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Re: @bazza I shouldn't laugh, but...

@frank ly,

"I buy things and stuff. I've never seen the things I buy advertised on Google. (Having said that, I use AdBlock and don't pay attention to webverts.) Are you saying that the majority of people won't buy anything they need/want unless it's advertised on Google?"

The price of goods you buy incorporates the cost of advertising it on Google. Just because you've not looked at the ad on Google doesn't mean that you're not paying for it. Every time Google invent yet another irritating way of advertising stuff, the manufacturers have to buy those ads too (or fear losing ground on their competitors), and they pass the cost on to you whether or not you've seen the ad. AdBlock does not make your groceries and tech cheaper.

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They own the bridge and most of the road

What is the definition of a troll?

I believe it is a myth about creatures that live underbridges and either eat passers by or charge them for allowng them to use said bridge. And a search engine being a bridge...

Not that I have any objections to any of it.

It all seems to be toddling along nicely as far as I can see.

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FAIL

Extortion?

@turtle, I'd like some of what you're smoking. I don't know if you're referring to the AdWords and other advertisement revenue as extortion? I, myself, have benefited greatly from Google advertising. For my work, it's an incredible value costing an order of magnitude less and being far more effective. I have also used Craigslist and while you cannot beat the price, Google sends me dozens for each person I get from CL. Bing and Yahoo are probably great too but their pricing didn't fit my business.

I'm sure there are businesses for whom Google ads are less effective, but if Google weren't generally effective, no one would use them. Believe me, I have zero loyalty. If a new order-of-magnitude better solution appeared, I'd try hard to be the first to switch.

To say nothing of all the other benefits I get from Google, beginning with their search which IMNSHO is superior to all others. I'm also quite pleased with my $200 moto G and with KitKat. Maps. Etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Laugh all you like

Where there's money there's patent lawyers and sooner or later they'll be standing at your door to claim your liver (patent 6372947501).

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Unhappy

Dammit

This can only mean one thing - more Ads on Youtube to cover the cost :-/

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Obligatory adblock comment.

There are ads on Youtube?

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Re: Obligatory adblock comment.

I don't think even Adblock can save you from having an ad play before you see the video you want.

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Re: Obligatory adblock comment.

Adblock absolutely blocks the embedded adverts in Youtube. I got sick of the constant bombardment so just added the youtube ad filter to my block list. I've also blocked all of Google's adwords and other tracking sites and denied all of their cookies.

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Re: Obligatory adblock comment.

"I don't think even Adblock can save you from having an ad play before you see the video you want."

Guess again.

First time I saw a video ad play on Youtube was about a year after they'd introduced introduced them whilst trying to watch something on a friend's computer. Spent a good twenty minutes trying to figure out if she'd installed some dodgy search toolbar or other crapware that was causing it since "Youtube doesn't have adverts".

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what i dont get is they said they re-engineerd the adwords code, but the judge said it was "like" the patent now instead of copying it. So now patent trolls can sue because something is "like" their patent?

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Welcome to patent law

Yep, that's exactly how patents work. They can and do cover outcomes/effects/results as well as processes. If you re-engineer someone else's process to produce a result that's covered by their patent - you're still violating that patent.

Patents aren't about "not copying technology", they're about "giving inventors a window of opportunity to profit from their bright idea". How effective, or proportionate, they are in this aim is open to (lots and lots of) debate.

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Re: Welcome to patent law

Well, now they're about IP firms hoovering up patents as speculative investments. Not so much about inventors any more; the only people who definitely win are the lawyers.

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Re: Welcome to patent law

Are you saying ideas are patentable???

Because there are a lot of courts to disagree with you.

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A billion here, a billion there...

Pretty soon it adds up to real money.

Everett Dirkson.

Of course he was talking about the US Government at the time, but it does play well in this context.

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If it was really that great a patent, why did Lycos go bust then?

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Joke

If it was really that great a patent, why did Lycos go bust then?

Because "let's Lycos the answer" doesn't really sound so good?

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@Chairo

I know that it was a joke, but I disagree with you. I was late to Google because of its stupid name, and really needed beating with the cluestick before I accepted that it really was the best search engine out there. My use of Copernic ended the day that I was shown that the most relevant articles were found more efficiently and much more quickly by Google than Copernic - evidence-based decision making rules!

And I still think Google is a stupid name ...

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Re: @Chairo

Sure enough - I liked Altavista quite well at the time and switched to google when it was clear that they had the better search engine.

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Flame

This type of thing really needs to stop, and that does not depend on whether you like or hate Google, Microsoft, Apple, or one of the more egregiously victimized RIM, to name a few. I have contended for years that a programmer who does not infringe at least a patent a day should be fired for idleness. Software patents need to be killed and a stake driven through their hearts. Increasingly I find it difficult to sympathize with any patents at all, as most of them impede progress as much as they promote it.

The old tradeoff of monopoly in exchange for disclosure is pretty much totally broken in the case of software patents, and in the US, at least, a great deal of the remaining patents are bought in large part with taxpayers' money in the form of research grants. Even in the drug business, so often the favorite rationalization of patent proponents, the advances often are marginal, the games the drug corps play to extend them and suppress competition are close enough to racketeering in their structure as to make the distinction difficult.

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But you don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Without the incentive to invent, you're not likely to see many inventions. Even the greatest works of art had incentives behind them: most were commissions.

And don't diss the drug companies. Just about every patent they take out is a gamble, and few of them pay off, yet without them, we're likely to look at a day where medical tech will head back to the bad ol' days as germs/virii/whatever adapt beyond them.

As for software patents, they wouldn't be such an investment if they didn't have such a long term attached to them. Cut nonphysical patents down to about 3 years and they won't be worth investing speculatively anymore.

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I have major issue with that comment about drug companies. Its nonsense! There have been very few new drugs in the last 30 or so years, compared with the preceding 30 years. Most drugs and their patents are what get referred to as 'me-too drugs', as they take a patented drug and copy it but with minor differences, and then test it and try to come up with some form of excuse to say its in some way better when in reality, if you did the tests properly it would do nothing differently.

So, yes, diss the drug companies as much as you want.

Most breakthrough medicine has come from public institutions such as universities. But often to get it to market, they sell the rights to one of the big drugs companies.

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Couldn't agree more. Patents have no place in science, including software. Trolls are the vilest and most naked kind of parasitic rentier.

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WTF?

@ Tom Dial

So you claim pharma's of racketeering, but as GSK alone, spend about $6 BILLION a YEAR on research, if they don't patent it, how the fuck are they supposed to survive, when some dodgy pill factory nicks their formula and sells it for a few pence?

Ban patents, forget expensive innovation.

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Roo
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@ Charles 9

"Without the incentive to invent, you're not likely to see many inventions."

If that was true we would still be banging rocks together instead of exchanging messages via t'internets. The fact is there are some powerful incentives that exist independently of patents, e.g.: survival in a hostile environment.

"Even the greatest works of art had incentives behind them: most were commissions."

Getting paid to do a job is hardly news, believe it or not that happens without patents too...

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Re: @ Charles 9

If that was true we would still be banging rocks together instead of exchanging messages via t'internets. The fact is there are some powerful incentives that exist independently of patents, e.g.: survival in a hostile environment.

ONLY in a hostile environment. Take that away (by being in a modern civilization), and you need a new incentive. Money works, but that is too easy to lose if you're prone to copycats.

Getting paid to do a job is hardly news, believe it or not that happens without patents too...

Name one invention that was commissioned but not patented. Most of the things I referred were unique works subject to copyright, but you can't copyright a technique.

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Too many patents seem to be registered in an effort to prevent others from developing a similar idea - even if the patent owner has no intention of developing the idea into a product. That is stifling development as a species rather than promoting it.

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Re: @ Lost all faith

GSK* also spend at least that much on marketing, trying to persuade doctors to prescribe medications that have been inadequately trialled.If you haven't read "Bad Pharma" by Ben Goldacre yet, then it should be right at the top of your reading list (that goes for anyone else that uses health-care - you need to know just how broken the clinical trials system is).

*I'm not singling GSK out as being the only bent drugs company - they all are. I'm just responding to your comment.

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Drug companies

I don't think that's fair.

New or improved drugs /have/ been developed in recent years, in spite of greatly increased regulatory costs and increasing difficulty. (The difficulty is increasing because the bar is raised. And the lowest hanging fruit has already taken.)

Many of the 'me too' drugs you mention are because of the large amount of research - a seminal discovery is published and multiple pharmaceutical companies use that as a starting point, investing the next 10 years and 1.3 billion dollars developing what turn out to be similar compounds.

Publically funded research is important, certainly. But there's a reason the rights get sold off. It would be entirely possible to develop drugs all the way to market in a nationally owned organisation - you would just need to fund it appropriately.

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No patents for...

A discovery, a scientific theory or a mathematical method;

An aesthetic creation;

A scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business, or a computer program; or

The presentation of information.

http://www.patentsoffice.ie/en/patents_excluded.aspx

Patents must be novel, have industrial applicability, and an inventive step.

This covers basically the EU and most of the world....

...then we have the US

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"Most breakthrough medicine has come from public institutions such as universities." And much of that paid for with grants of public money - i. e., taxes.

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Re: @ Tom Dial

First to market maybe?

We may draw our own conclusions as to whether paying competitors not to make generics after patent expiry bears a similarity to racketeering. It is not entirely clear which party would bear a greater share of blame, but it is entirely clear that the losers are those who might benefit from the drugs at issue.

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Roo
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Re: @ Charles 9

"Name one invention that was commissioned but not patented."

I know I will regret this, but I will bite:

The Difference Engine.

The Analytical Engine.

I'll get my coat, mine is the one with the pockets full of cheap brass cogs stamped "Made in China".

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Re: @ Charles 9

One's an exception to the rile. The difference engine was commissioned by the Crown, thus making the work property of the Crown and subject to different rules.

The other breaks the rule. The analytical engine was never commissioned at all and has never actually been constructed to completion. Thus there was nothing to patent.

So what about anything from a private party?

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Roo
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Re: @ Charles 9

"One's an exception to the rile. The difference engine was commissioned by the Crown, thus making the work property of the Crown and subject to different rules."

That doesn't change the fact that I named at least one work that was commissioned and the discoveries were not patented. I guess you don't do "gracious in defeat". ;)

"The analytical engine was never commissioned at all and has never actually been constructed to completion. Thus there was nothing to patent."

In case you haven't noticed Patents don't require that the invention be "constructed to completion". If you disagree with that policy you should lobby some politicians to see if you can get them to change the relevant laws.

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Re: @ Charles 9

It wasn't patented only because it COULDN'T be patented. Exception to the rule because it's inapplicable; edge case. A proper example would be one that COULD be patented but WASN'T.

And last I checked, yes, to say you don't want nonphysical patents means an examplar (and to be an exemplar, it usually has to be WORKING) is REQUIRED.

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