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How is this a win-win scenario for Google? They’re attempting to do something that is strictly against the interest of the inventor and abusing the patent system in order to achieve a commerical advantage at the cost of the rest of humanity. This is totally evil in my view.

Their main goal is to not get sued. As long as no one else is granted the patent they probably won't be too unhappy.

As a large tech firm just not patenting anything doesn't seem practical given the current patent law even if you don't plan on suing people for them. Once you get a patent another company can't get a patent for the same thing (and if they do it's easy to invalidate) and also the more patents you have the less likely you are to be sued for patent infringement as you could always sue them back for your patents.

> Their main goal is to not get sued.

So there's no practical way to demonstrate prior art without filing a patent?

Your question suggests their goal is to win when sued. That can be expensive. The goal is not to be sued in the first place.

Not sure why a patent is a better guard against a lawsuit than clear prior art. If everyone knows you'll win if sued it doesn't matter if the reason you would win is because you hold the patent or if you demonstrated prior art.

I think the actual advantage is "mutually assured destruction"; big companies accumulate large patent portfolios so that they can (among other things) have enough stuff patented that they have the option to counter sue or if they get sued they can find some way that the suing company is violating something else in their portfolio and threaten to sue over that.

I live in a different jurisdiction, but based on what I've read on these discussions in the Internet, it appears that in the USA the loser doesn't pay the winner's court and lawyer costs. Having a stronger defense could allow the court case to finish on an earlier step, saving a large amount of the costs.

It's not the only way to get prior art but prior art isn't the only reason a tech company wants to try to get patents so I'm a little unclear on your point.

So we are going to have to rely on the goodwill of Google not to sue others if they are awarded the patent? How about being a good corporate citizen like the others and not trying to patent it in the first place?

Corporations do not act with goodwill, and those that do are often not successful corporations for long, as others take advantage of them. Remember that every time you see a corporation seemingly acting selflessly, either you don't realize how it benefits them, or its just a public relations play. But corporations always act in self-interest.

You act like self-interest is black and white. Oracle persues profit at any expense, often via lawsuits. Google uses patents as a defense mechanism against other companies. Both are self-interest, but very different degrees.

Google isn't persuing profit via lawsuits... yet. Google is well positioned to patent troll when it stops being the top dog. In fact, Google already has Patent Shield, which provides a latent threat that if you leave their umbrella they can turn around and sue a company that used to use their services.

Even if you have unwavering faith in a company's current leadership, when that leadership is not making money, they will be replaced by someone who is. So if the possibility to patent troll exists, eventually, it will.

Fwiw, at least with google this is debatable, since the company is, for the purposes of voting stake, held by the leadership.

So the only people who could replace the leadership...are the leadership.

There's an argument that institutional investors can still influence mostly privately held firms, but I'm not sure how much I buy that in this case.

> Google isn't persuing profit via lawsuits... yet. Google is well positioned to patent troll when it stops being the top dog. In fact, Google already has Patent Shield, which provides a latent threat that if you leave their umbrella they can turn around and sue a company that used to use their services.

Slippery slope much?

> profit at any expense

Redundant definition of profit?

Short-term and long-term profit are not driven by the same goals. In fact, they are often at odds. I get the joke, but it's not really redundant. "Profit at any expense" sounds like short-term profit to me.

I guess you want to highlight that the company is owned mostly by a charitable foundation ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bosch_GmbH#Corporate_af... ), but I think it's important to realize that the company itself still operates as a profit maximizer for its shareholders. You only need to scroll down to the section about their involvement in the Volkswagen emissions scandal for proof of that.

While one of Bosch’s units was involved in dieselgate, on the whole their business has been for the betterment of humanity.

The point is that a company doesn’t have to always “maximize profits”. Tim Cook famously told a shareholder to “get out of the stock” if that was how he assessed his portfolio. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/ne...

It also provides a great "retirement plan" for your company's business model: When people stop buying your products you can hold your patents over the other tech companies.

Google may simply want the patent to prevent someone like MPEG LA getting one. I suspect they really want it to prevent MPEG LA from using the technique in a codec though. Or perhaps Google employees are simply chasing the incentives to get patents.

If MPEG LA tries to patent it then they’d have to go through the same process. But they haven’t so why is Google trying to be a smartass and directly challenge the inventor, when it was him who gave them the idea in the first place? The most charitable thing to say is that they’re naïve but given how they’ve also considered working with the US government on drones to kill people I think they’ve really strayed from trying to “organize the world’s information”.

If Google wins, they have the patent on this implementation. If Google loses, no one can have the patent. Either way, Google isn't paying anyone else to do this.

Key words: "for google".

it is exactly a "win-win" for Google, as described above, because fairness and respect to an individual author are not included in the decision at all. It is money and the legal context of money, that is described in "win-win" and as you rightly point out, this creates miserable results from a humanist point of view.

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