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Does Google Intentionally Invite Lawsuits?

Even though Google is clearly a deep pocket, it's apparently not litigation-averse, according to this New York Times article, We're Google So Sue Us (10/23/06). From the article:

As Google has grown into the world’s most popular search engine and, arguably, the most powerful Internet company, it has become entangled in scores of lawsuits touching on a wide range of legal questions, including copyright violation, trademark infringement and its method of ranking Web sites.  Any company that is large and successful is going to attract lawsuits, and Google’s deep pockets make it an especially big target. But as it rushes to create innovative new services, Google sometimes operates in a way that almost seems to invite legal scrutiny.

Google's current lawsuits range from an action by a group of authors challenging the company's book scanning project, which includes books still under copyright; a suit by a Web site for removal from search engine results; a suit by European news agencies over Google's use of headlines and photos in GoogleNews; and of course, the legacy litigation from the YouTube acquisition, discussed here a few weeks ago.

But while litigation may deter other companies, it seems to have the reverse effect on Google, which wants to test boundaries and establish legal precedent in its favor. Plus, it's  had a good deal of success, in large part to its staff of "bright young lawyers, many of many of them technically proficient and experts in the field of intellectual property."

With all of this litigation, one burning question remains: When does Google plan to introduce a searchable database of its lawsuits?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on October 24, 2006 at 03:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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