GraphOn adds Google to lengthening list of lawsuit targets

In the latest of a barrage of lawsuits against various and sundry operators of "automated and network-automated databases," Web development company GraphOn is now hauling Google into court on allegations of patent infringement.

In a complaint filed in US District Court in Texas, GraphOn is charging that Google's Base, YouTube, Blogger, Sites, and AdWords services violate a total of four patents the company now owns.

Also cited in a still unresolved suit by GraphOn against Yahoo, CareerBuilder, eHarmony, Match.com, and IAC/Interactive Corp., the four patents include US Patents No. 6,324,538 (also known as "the '538 patent"), 7,028,034 ("the '034 patent"), 7.269,591 ("the '591 patent"), and 6,850,940 ("the '940 patent").

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In a third action -- which ended in a settlement in January of this year -- GraphOn sued AutoTrader.com for allegedly infringing on the '538 and '940 patents.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit over patents for firewall and other network security technologies -- filed by GraphOn against Juniper Networks in August of last year -- is still pending.

GraphOn claims to have garnered ownership of the '538 and '940 patents -- together with "applications that resulted in the '034 and '591 patents" and "intellectual property, other patents, and other patent applications" -- through its buyout of Network Engineering Software (NES) back in 2005.

Some critics, though, are suggesting that the GraphOn patents are exceedingly broad. The '538 patent, for example, covers such operations as "providing an HTML front-end entry process associated with the Web server;" creating a personal homepage for an owner; and "providing a Web server coupled to a computer network having a database operatively disposed within and accessible on [a] network."

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