Google Search Engine Being Sued Over Internet Phone System
Friday, December 30 2005 @ 07:51 PM MSK
Google’s free internet telephony system is causing a new stir. This one n the courts. They are being sued for copyright infringement by Rates Technology Inc. If the suit is successful, the action may cause Google being forced to shut down its Google Talk communication system.
Rates Technology Inc (RTI) brought a case against Google in New York. They claim in the suit that Google has infringed on two of its patents, relating to the technology necessary to make Internet phone calls.
RTI is seeking damages as well as court costs. They also are requesting an injunction to stop Google from using the technology.
One article cited a Google spokesperson as saying the lawsuit is without merit, and signaled their intent to defend themselves against it.
It is possible that the new partnership between AOL and Google, which was announced last week, could help Google in the suit. The AOL deal allows Google Talk users to use AOL’s TotalTalk program. Analysts have suggested that Google also may be able to license AOL’s voice over internet protocol (VoIP)
Google launched its instant voice and text messaging system in August, with the tagline “They say talk is cheap. Google thinks it should be free.” Analysts saw this as Google’s foot in the door in a new area for them. The company may eventually compete with other groups that allow satellite broadcasts, internet telephone services and ‘buy television’. This, of course, would appeal to consumers, who could have all three from one company-Google.
Google Talk currently lets its users conduct voice conversations with other computer users. It is based on VoIP software, which allows users to make voice calls through their computers and over the internet, much less expensive than traditional phone service. Skype, one of the first with this type of technology, was recently bought by eBay for more than $2.5 billion.
Google Talk is a user benefit for those users that currently have Google e-mail. That was another legal issue for Google, when a Britain company claimed the ownership over the name Gmail. Google changed their name to Google Mail.
Documents found at the blog Search Engine Watch, first reported the pending case, which is scheduled for a hearing on February 3rd.
In March, The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dismissed a patent infringement action brought by RTI against Nortel Networks.