Google have been fined $5 million for violating Bedrock Computer Technologies’ Linux patents.
Google has been fined $5 million for violating Bedrock Computer Technologies’ Linux patents in their Android OS, in an April 15th jury verdict in a Texas district court.
Founder of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, Florian Mueller, warned that this verdict could impact the wider software community:
“The implication here is really that there is a huge number of Linux users who will be required to pay royalties if this patent holder knocks on their doors in the US. This is definitely a major impediment to the growth of Linux and makes companies, including Google, that rely on open source code particularly vulnerable to patent threats.”
In response, Google have argued against software patents:
“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 told the BBC.
Google reportedly plans to appeal the ruling. The search giant is also currently being sued by Oracle over Android’s use of Java technology.