Google have been found guilty of infringing a patent held by Bedrock Computer Technologies (BCT) over a piece of code held in its Linux codebase.
BCT were awarded more than £3 million in damages from the search engine giant by a Texas based jury and the decision may set a precedent to allow companies to launch attacks on other software that uses its patented data strcuture of a linked list data structure to expire data.
BCT has since shut up shop, amidst allegations that it was only set up in the first place to acquire patents and pursue litigation for violations.
Google is expected to appeal against the decision, especially as the court in question is apparently reputed to uphold a number of questionable patents. Many are shocked that a patent on the use of a linked list was ever granted in the first place as their use is almost universal in the IT industry.
If Google loses its appeal the door could be left open for BCT to begin pursuing similar litigation against pretty much every software developer.