Sunday, March 13, 2011

MasterObjects sues Google and Amazon on Instant Search Patent -- If It's Instant, What Took You So Long?

This week, a Netherlands company called MasterObjects (not a troll -- they actually appear to have a product) finally got around to suing and Google for infringing their patent on "instant search" -- the function which annoyingly "guesses" what your search is going to be while you are still typing it in.

It's no big surprise that companies go after Google and Amazon for patent infringement -- they're big targets that can well afford to pay for that license you wanted. What's surprising is that they didn't choose to go after Apple and eBay, who also employ the same function (as the Techcrunch article on teh subject pointed out). They also waited almost nine months since their patent issued to bring suit. And, when they did sue, they filed in the Northern District of California -- instead of the fashionable Eastern District of Texas.

I'm sure that this delay is mostly explained by (finally) busted license negotiations, but you wouldn't think it would take almost a year to figure out that Amazon and Google aren't handing out bags of gold and they aren't very afraid of your threats of injunction.

Or maybe the Dutch are just too polite to play smashmouth patent litigation with the rest of us. Join the party, boys -- dutch treat!

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