Google Rejects Claims of Jarg-Northeastern U Lawsuit

1/14/08Follow @wroush

Google says a patent-infringement lawsuit filed last year by Northeastern University and Waltham, MA, startup Jarg is without merit, according to a story yesterday in Ars Technica.

As we explained back in November, the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, TX, alleges that Google’s technique of parceling out search queries to databases on multiple servers infringes on a patent granted to Northeastern in 1997 (the year before Google’s founding) and licensed to Jarg. Google’s counter-filing, according to Ars Technica, says that the search giant does not and has never infringed on Northeastern’s patent.

Not only that, Google argues, Jarg’s patent is invalid and unenforceable. And even if it were valid, the company argues, Northeastern and Jarg wouldn’t be entitled to relief, since they waited too long to file the suit and never informed Google about the alleged infringement. Google has requested an immediate judgment dismissing the plaintiffs’ complaint and invalidating the patent, or, failing that, a jury trial—which it apparently has little fear of losing.

Michael Belanger, president of Jarg, says the company will not comment on pending litigation. Co-founded by Northeastern computer science professor Ken Baclawski, Jarg markets a “semantic search” platform that allows users to query databases using full, natural-language sentences.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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