Google Sued By GraphOn

    August 18, 2008

The week is not off to a great start for Google.  GraphOn Corporation issued a release bright and early this morning stating that it is suing the search giant for patent infringement.

Four separate patents have been cited, and these "protect GraphOn’s unique method of maintaining an automated and network-accessible database," according to the company.  Only the method’s not too unique, as Google Base, AdWords, Blogger, Sites, and YouTube allegedly make use of it.

Google Logo

So will Google have to pay some heavy licensing fees, or even lose control of its central products?  Don’t bet on it.

We can first look at where GraphOn’s complaint was filed: the Eastern District of Texas.  This venue was characterized in a Smart Business article as "demonstrably where bad patent cases go to die."

Then, consider that GraphOn’s history tends towards the lawsuit-happy.  AutoTrader, Juniper Networks, IAC/InterActiveCorp,, Yahoo, eHarmony, and CareerBuilder have all been targeted before.

Toss in the fact that Google’s lawyers have a pretty good track record, and the patent suit looks even less serious.  We’ll see what happens, though, as strange rulings have been known to occur and appeals are almost inevitable.