Google lost an important patent case on their Linux server kernels they have been using throughout the company. A Texas jury recently ruled that Google infringed on an information storage and retrieval patent.
Google isn’t the only company targeted by this patent infringement, Bedrock Computer Technologies also sued Softlayer Technologies, CitiWare Technology Solutions, Yahoo, MySpace, Amazon.com, PayPal, Match.com, AOL and the CME Group. But Google’s suit was the first to go to trial.
Bedrock Computer Technologies was awarded $5 million for Google infringing on their patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,893,120) named “Methods and apparatus for information storage and retrieval using a hashing technique with external chaining and on-the-fly removal of expired data.”
So besides for Google having to pay the $5 million, they may have to modify the current kernels of Linux used on their servers and maybe even the Android mobile operating system.
If the injunction is upheld, many Internet services will have to change the way they do business. The reason being is that the patent infringement involves several versions of Linux all the back to kernel version 2.4.22 (circa 2003) through many of the recent 2.6 kernels.
Here is the court verdict: