So Google beat them to the punch... do they really think they woulda made $950 million from that tool? Highly doubt it.....
You can just run this headline every week:.
"Company/Person With More Money Than God, Sued By Somebody For Something".
It's quiz time...
Can you tell me off the top of your head (no googling), what company was the plaintiff that won The Largest Patent Infringement Judgment Of All Time.
The defendant was Microsoft.
Here's the point. You do know what bank robber Willie Sutton said when the FBI asked him "Why do you rob banks?" yes? No doubt the developers of the "Googly Bear" email system.....
Court of law - The place where a dishonest man can get his suit pressed and an honest man can be taken to the cleaners...
No, but I do know they've lost a lot of patent suits.
The way it stands, pretty much everything on the web is infringing on someone's patent...
Wasn't it the one that had to do with the way 3rd party tools interfaced with IE? The name is on the tip of my tongue but can't remember it at the moment. Was something like a $500m lawsuit if I remember?..
Because their dropping a few million dollars wouldn't be noticed? (Really, "Because that's where they keep the money / That's where the money is / etc.").
Also being discussed here: http://www.namepros.com/industry-new...mail-tool.html.
Well... think about it... it's their service, what would possibly stop them from creating an importer for THEIR service from another service? I mean crap... Microsoft should be sued for creating an importer from Netscape to Outlook Express/Outlook cause some monkey could have made money by charging for an import software! Some lawsuits just boggle the mind.....
Seems a great way to make money is to come up with a fre extremely obvious small tools that do a simplistic function, then patent it, wait for major company to use it, then sue sue sue...
I read the whole article. This part, if true, would be a cause to complain: "LimitNone says it created gMove as part of an official Google developer program and was told that Google would not develop a similar tool. The suit alleges that Google broke it's promise and developed it's own software based on LimitNone's technology.
In the suit LimitNone alleges that a Google employee told the company the opportunity was "just too big to come from someone else".
GMove does not have a patent, but LimitNone and it's attorneys, Kelley Drye & Warren, are hoping to prove Google copied the company's trade secrets.".
If you are told by Google that they aren't interested in something and then they copy your work because they say it is too good, it seems a little screwed up in my opinion. At the very least, it doesn't seem fair...
I would be curious to know what the Google Developer Program TOS says. It would pretty much override anything some employee "might" have said. I know there can be legitimate claims and hey...maybe this is one of those. Let's try to follow this story if we can...
I found it at: http://code.google.com/. At the bottom pf the page is the link to the TOS - http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS.
I am not sure if this is the right section. Nevertheless, there's all kinds of stuff in the TOS & I'm not a lawyer. I did find this interesting.
9. Proprietary rights.
9.4 Other than the limited license set forth in Section 11, Google acknowledges and agrees that it obtains no right, title or interest from you (or your licensors) under these Terms in or to any Content that you submit, post, transmit or display on, or through, the Services, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in that Content (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist). Unless you have agreed otherwise in writing with Google, you agree that you are responsible for protecting and enforcing those rights and that Google has no obligation to do so on your behalf. You are right. It is their service. They have the right to code their own importer and use it as they see fit. That's the question.
Even the Google TOS says, "you agree that you are responsible for protecting and enforcing those rights..." I guess that is what this person is doing. I agree with you totally. If you want to make money, invent something, patent it and sell it to a big company. Profit from your ideas. If somebody steals it, sue them.
The only problem is that patents are extremely hard to get. In order to get a patent, you need a new and unique idea.
From Wikipedia, "a patent application must include one or more claims defining the invention which must be new, inventive, and useful or industrially applicable". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent.
Easier said, than done...
The patent office doesn't handle IP very well anymore...the tech sector for the most part seems able to outsmart them. I have seen too many frivolous patents the past decade since the internet has become a mainstay of society. Certain things should not be patented and yet they get passed. This one is just one of many examples...
The companies that abuse the patent system and have the money to get away with are the big companies like Google. Small companies and inventors do not have the money to do this. You and I will never be able to apply for a frivolous patent and get away with it. But that's off topic.
Back to the point at hand: LimitNone -vs- Google.
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, the law firm representing LimitNone, has a rather spectacular list of clients that includes: Oracle, T-Mobile, IMAX, Netflix, Mercedes-Benz USA, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Footlocker Inc, and dozens of other Multinational businesses.
Considering that lawyers are generally pragmatists (and generally want to take cases that they might win and get paid) it might be interesting to read the news report again.
Here's the story again:.
Released by Business Wire News: "Google misappropriated technology, developed by two entrepreneurs with whom it was working, to help it compete with Microsofts dominance of the business software market, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. Economic damages resulting from Googles actions are calculated to be nearly one billion dollars.
The suit was filed on behalf of LimitNone, a Chicago-based company that had been part of the Google Enterprise Professional Program, a program where Google partners with independent, third-party developers to develop or enhance Google products.
Google claims it's core philosophy is Dont be evil but, simply put, they invited us to work with them, to trust them and then stole our technology, said LimitNones CEO, Ray Glassmann. We had to take a stand..
David Rammelt and Susan Greenspon of the Chicago office of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP are representing LimitNone.
Its shocking that Google would engage in this type of conduct; particularly when the other party is a small software company that built it's business specifically to help Google sell it's existing and future products, said Greenspon. People need to realize that Google is just another large publicly traded corporation that will do whatever it takes to increase it's revenue, even if that means risking it's reputation among developers..
The lawsuit alleges that in February, 2007 Google launched a suite of business software applications called Google Apps. The software was designed to challenge Microsofts Office suite of products (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) which has 500 million users. According to the lawsuit, unlike Microsofts products, Google Apps does not require a customer to download software onto his or her computer. Instead, Google Apps is a collection of web-based applications that reside on Googles servers. The lawsuit alleges at the time of it's launch, however, Google did not have a workable way to enable Microsoft Outlook users to easily migrate their email (called gMail), calendar and contacts to Googles platform.
In early 2007, LimitNone developed just such a product to solve this problem and in March confidentially demonstrated the migration tool to senior members of the Google Apps team. According to the complaint, the Google Apps executives invited LimitNone to be part of the Google Enterprise Professional Program, to further develop and market the tool, and assured the company that it had no intention of developing a similar product.
The lawsuit alleges the tool, which was originally named MY GRATE was later renamed, at Googles insistence, gMove. Though the product retailed for $29, Google asked that LimitNone sell it to Googles customers for $19.
The lawsuit claims that throughout the remainder of 2007, Google promoted LimitNone and gMove and repeatedly told company executives that it would not develop a competing product. Google highlighted gMove on it's website and introduced the company to it's largest customers (including Proctor & Gamble, Intel, Orbitz, Morgan Stanley and Toys R Us). In addition, Google asked LimitNone to present the product to it's technical sales personnel, to meet with the Google Open Source team and to continuously share updated versions of gMove.
In December, 2007, as detailed in the complaint Google told LimitNone that it would, in fact, be releasing a competing product and giving it away for free to it's Premier customers. The lawsuit alleges that Googles product, called Google Email Uploader steals gMoves look, feel and functionality.
According to the complaint, Scott McMullan, a senior executive in the Google Apps partner program, told LimitNone that the potential for 50 million users was just too big to come from someone else and that this is how Google operates..
The two-count lawsuit alleges that Google misappropriated trade secrets and violated Illinois consumer fraud laws."..