Northeastern University Patent Suit Against Google Search; E-Trade Stocks Down 59%

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What a Monday. Suit filed last week by Northeastern University and Jarg, owner and sole licensee of a patent on splitting up search queries to search them over multiple databases to speed up the search, which basically is how Google’s search capabilities function–the suit is for an injunction and damages. That would be insane if it got to the point of Google settling; if I were Northeastern and Jarg, represented by the biglaw law firm Vinson and Elkins, I would play no holds barred. Take it to a jury! Refuse settlement! Of course there’s the KSR case which makes it easier to invalidate patents–at any rate however, they could OWN Google if they won. The patent was issued in 1997, Google was incorporated in 1998.

Northeastern sues Google over patent

Read a transcript of an interview with library advocate and NYU Associate Professor of Culture and Communication Siva Vaidhyanathan, author of a law review article against critiquing the Google book project on the web magazine First Monday.

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E-trade stocks down 59% on an analyst’s report that there was a 15% chance that E-trade would go bankrupt, apparently due to exposure in the whole subprime mess. (I thought these financial people were paid so much money because they were geniuses at dealing with and diversifying risk. It’s more like a few become billionaires and hopefully don’t wreck the economy for the rest of us with their exotic shenanigans.)

The way this highlights the psychological aspects of the financial markets is really interesting, since it was just one analyst’s report, and only estimating a 15% chance of bankruptcy…read the comments, a lot of people think the sky could be falling on many of the big financial houses…quite a lot of speculation.

E*Trade’s ‘Bankruptcy’ Risk: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?


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