Northeastern Gives It To Google

Northeastern University has picked a patent-infringement fight, and they picked it with the big boys on the playground: Google.

According to the suit filed in the patent-friendly U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Google has been infringing on a patent issued to Northeastern for splitting search queries between multiple database servers. The patent is exclusively licensed to Jarg Corp.

Northeastern says it's known about the infringement since an unnamed law firm advised them of it in 2005, but that they had difficulty finding a lawyer who would take the case without a retainer. Google is aware of the suit, and calls it "unmerited" — and given Northeastern's reluctance to pay out to protect their patent, one has to wonder if it just might be.

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.