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29 October 2009, 10:42

Patent action over Google's Courgette

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Red Bend Software is suing Google for patent infringement. The code in question is Courgette, Google's open source algorithm for reducing the size of updates which they launched in July. According to Red Bend, Courgette infringes their patent 6,546,552, granted in 2003 for "A method for generating a compact difference result between an old program and a new program". Red Bend produces software for cellular providers which allows the providers to compress updates for mobile phones and, according to Ovum, have a 54 per cent share of the market in delivering FOTA (Firmware Over The Air).

Red Bend is seeking triple damages, saying that Google has known about the patent since September 7th and that the company caused further damage to Red Bend by releasing the source code to Courgette as open source. Courgette works by transforming the input files into a form where they can be binary differenced more effectively, creating smaller patch files for updates. The company uses it for distributing updates to its Chrome web browser. Google have not commented on the case telling US media that it has not yet been served with the complaint.

Red Bend Software recently received two patents, 7,587,433 for "revertible updating" and 7,599,970 for "failsafe in-place updating" which are not related to the case against Google.


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