How is it possible to write any software these days without violating someone’s ‘patent’?

Google and AOL were sued for patent infringement Thursday by New Jersey-based Suffolk Technologies, LLC over their Internet search summary descriptions, or ‘snippets.’
[…]
In effect, the lawsuit asserts that every single Google search result ‘snippet’ display violates the ’132 patent.
[…]
“Google’s server compares the identification signals of the webpage [sic] from which the request is made to identification signals stored by Google,” the results that Google uses to serve AdSense ads to a web page violate the ’835 patent.

This guy actual believes software patents are a good idea.



  1. msbpodcast says:

    Somebody has got to start shooting the losing patent attorneys and their clients, with impunity. (Don’t kill ’em, just wing ’em and hospitalize ’em for six months or a year with small caliber weapons. [Then again for this kind of stupid shit, blow off a limb…])

    That will make patent trolling a far less rewarding and a far riskier occupation.

  2. msbpodcast says:

    The USPTO has been a fucking joke, one played at our expense, since Reagan declared the damn bureau as a source for profit.

    I’d like to bring him back to life an explain to him exactly what a stupid idea that was.

    • Uncle Dave says:

      Somebody probably ‘owns’ his likeness, so if you brought him back to life he’d get sued for looking like himself without getting permission, paying royalties, etc. to the copyright holders.

    • Uncle Patso says:

      msbpodcast says:

      “The USPTO has been a fucking joke, one played at our expense, since Reagan declared the damn bureau as a source for profit.

      I’d like to bring him back to life an explain to him exactly what a stupid idea that was.”

      Even at the time his swiss cheese brain would have been incapable of understanding.

  3. sargasso_c says:

    They are giving Trolls a bad reputation.

  4. deowll says:

    Now don’t you guys go getting all nasty. You know that fearless leader will lead our peerless legislature in making the needed reforms as soon as he gets off the campaign trail and they get back from vacation. I’m just not sure which millennium that will be in.

  5. kmfix says:

    Summarizing isn’t patentable.

  6. AOL Support says:

    I agree with msbpodcast

  7. tiloans says:

    Thank you for this very interesting info

  8. JimD, Boston, MA says:

    They ALL must be violating Intel’s “Itellectual Property” Right to their Op Codes !!! They all will be SUED !!!

  9. Peppeddu says:

    I think I am gonna patent breathing

    Then I am gonna start suing people who breathe without paying me a royalty license.

    I’ll be rich!

  10. Precisely why code should be copyrighted, not patented. Developers aren’t creating something like a new drug or a new gizmo. They are simply developing a process by which a certain outcome can be achieved.

    There is no reason someone else can’t come along and create a new way to do the same or similar outcome.

    When you look at product patents, I recently saw one for a device designed to create an air tight seal in a bottle of open wine. There were two devices and two patents, both were valid because they both achieved the same outcome in a slightly different way.

    So if someone writes code that achieves the same outcome as something someone else has, as long as they didn’t plagiarize the code and created the solution themselves, they should be fine.

    This misuse of the patent system must end.

  11. Logo, thanks for your reply. Please, allow me to retort.

    a) “software is not just like a book because the expression of software is irrelevant. ”

    I disagree. I could just as easily take an article written by John C Dvorak, convert it to Chinese and publish it under my own name in China.

    Case in point, the lawsuit regarding Novell over linux code that was directly taken from their Unixware product and included in Linux. Clearly that is a case of plagiarism and their code would be just as protected.

    b) I never suggested your could give a patent to an author, so that is a strawman argument. But for sake of discussion, let’s say you could. If we take the software patent model of being able to patent ideas, then an author could patent a car chase or a sword fight scene and anyone that used those scenarios in their story telling would have to pay royalties for their use.

    That is exactly what the company in this lawsuit is doing. They are saying they invented the idea of providing a ‘snippet’ of content from the page returned in a search. Yes, if they invented it, then apparently they worked on the team that developed the meta tag for descriptions.

    The second patent alleges they invented the method for one server to request data from another server and return that data based on some criteria sent by the first server. So apparently all these things infringe on their patent: hyperlinking, database retrieval, email, etc. Keep in mind, the patent didn’t even exist until 2000, quite a long time after the invention of these prior works.

    Software patents are so broadly written that they are a joke. Reform needs to happen in order to stop these kinds of frivolous lawsuits. I’d love to hear a better solution that what I have suggested, because we need one.

  12. Is there an echo in here? Why the same comment 3 times?

  13. carins says:

    Living in today’s litigious society is insane, you can’t even save people from drowning without having to worry about the aftermath where you could possibly end up being sued for everything you are worth.

  14. payday says:

    I agree with your opening statement, is it possible to create software without violating some form of patent? Likely not. Regardless, suing Google and AOL is a horrible idea, they’re not going to get anywhere with this.

  15. Living in today’s litigious society is insane, you can’t even save people from drowning without having to worry about the aftermath where you could possibly end up being sued for everything you are worth.


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