In recent years federal courts across the country have been filled with FOSS-related patent claims. Last month, a verdict in the Bedrock v. Google case renewed calls for reform of the US patent system. What exactly were the issues in this case, and what impact is this verdict likely to have on the open source world?
In a two-page jury verdict form returned on April 15 in the Bedrock Computer Technologies, LLC (BCT) suit, a jury held that Google infringed US Patent No. 5,893,120 (held by BCT), determined that the patent is valid, and stated Google must pay $5 million as damages for past infringement. The case is far from over, however, as claims continue to proceed against other defendants and further juries in the case may return additional verdicts that bear watching.