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Google Fined $5M in Linux Patent Suit

Mon, 04/25/2011 - 8:08am
Maisie Ramsay

Google has been fined $5 million for violating Bedrock Computer Technologies' patents on Linux technology, which is used in Google's Android operating system.

The April 15 jury verdict in a Texas district court could have implications for Android and other platforms using Linux, such as Nokia and Intel's MeeGo operating system.

Google may have to remove Linux kernel code infringing on Bedrock's patents from its Android operating system. Bedrock wants to bar Google from using the code.

Google could not be reached for comment by press time, but the Internet search giant defended itself in a statement to the BBC.

"The recent explosion in patent litigation is turning the world's information highway into a toll road, forcing companies to spend millions and millions of dollars defending old, questionable patent claims and wasting resources that would be much better spent investing in new technologies for users and creating jobs," Google said.

Google plans to appeal the ruling. Bedrock's 2009 complaint against Google also claimed that Yahoo, MySpace, Amazon, PayPal, Match.com and AOL were violating its patent on Linux kernel.

Google is also being sued by Oracle over Android's use of Java technology. The suit, filed last August, alleges that Android violates patents on Java that Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems.

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