Google to Fight All Patent Lawsuits

Search firm worries it's seen as easy target for settlements
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2009 4:11 PM CST
Google workers staff a booth in San Francisco, Sept. 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – Google is pursuing a more aggressive litigation strategy in an attempt to curb the number of patent lawsuits filed against it, Bloomberg reports. The company originally tended to settle lawsuits, getting rid of them quickly. But management is worried that doling out settlements has made it look like an easy target: Google was hit with 14 patent challenges last year—and didn't settle any.

That was up from 11 suits in 2007 and three in 2006. Google decided to fight all challenges from 2007 and 2008. “It’s our hope this will serve as a deterrent,” said the firm’s litigation counsel. The strategy comes with its own risks, because verdicts can yield costs far in excess of settlements. But Google seems to be making it work: It has won five cases so far.