Google Ordered To Pay $5 Million in Linux Suit

There was no information whether an injunction against Google will also be enforced. However, the plain payment isn’t so much the issue here: It is the implication on the entire Linux ecosystem U.S. Patent No. 5,893,120 may have, as it has been confirm as a valid patent by a court of law.

The patent is described as "methods and apparatus for information storage and retrieval using a hashing technique with external chaining and on-the-fly removal of expired data" and appears to be relating especially to large Linux server installations. Google may only be the beginning and Bedrock could be in a very strong position to collect royalties across the industry. Foss Patents speculates that companies such as Red Hat may be in a dilemma here and in yet another situation where license payments need to be made.   

It is unclear how the average user or developer may be affected. Google's Android, conceivably the most popular form of Linux in the market today, could be affected - as well as applications that touch Bedrock's patent. Foss Patents notes that Google may not only have to change the code in the software running its own server farms, but possibly also infringing code in Android. Overall, the outcome of this patent suit as well as Google's reaction should shed some light on future legal battles Google will have to fight in order to defend its Android platform. According to Foss patents, there are currently 41 Android-related patent suits pending.     

  • joytech22
    Couldn't Google buy the patent?

    Oh well, I doubt it will have any significant impact on us Android users.
  • dogman_1234
    Rollin, rollin, rollin...keep those lawsuits rollin...
  • aznpwned
    And this is a large sum of money to Google?
  • Camikazi
    aznpwnedAnd this is a large sum of money to Google?It isn't for Google, but what about the smaller companies that rely on Linux to power their servers? These guys might just go after everyone and that will hurt anyone who relies on Linuxs Open Source nature to survive.
  • burnley14
    In other news, Google sneezed and wiped its nose with $5 million.
  • knowom
    otacon72I think I'll patent how to take a dump then charge everyone a license fee when they go to the bathroom. Simpsons did it in episode #1039483 "Bart takes a crap on broken patent system"
  • pelov
    otacon72Thought Linux was
    It is, for the most part, but when a company is making money off of the code you developed then it's kinda not, right?
  • illo
    You mean like apples whole OS is based off FREEBSD and they charge for it?

  • deanjo
    illoYou mean like apples whole OS is based off FREEBSD and they charge for it?so.....
    Completely two different licenses here. BSD is a "go ahead and use it if you can no matter who you are" license by choice. GPL on the other hand is a restrictive license that says "hey, you can use my code only if you agree on my terms and principals". Apple used the BSD code EXACTLY LIKE IT WAS LICENSED FOR. The original code is and always shall be free for anyone to use and modifications are left up to the modifier to decide if they wish to contribute back.
  • mlcaouette
    I don't feel bad for Google cause 5 million to them is like a Penney that has been cut in half to me. I do fear what this will mean for all the Linux OS makers, you now the ones that don't make a butt-load of money off ads.