Google to fight lawsuit over Talk

A firm that holds patents for technology used in Internet voice calling is suing search giant Google Inc. for US$5 billion over its Google Talk instant-messaging client, according to court papers.

Rates Technology Inc. (RTI), a small, New York company that holds patents to telecommunications technologies but does not sell products, filed suit in October against Google, claiming the Mountain View, California, company is using two technologies RTI has patented but has not licensed them.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in October, but surfaced first in published reports this week.

Google uses the two technologies, which are for minimizing the cost of long-distance telephone calls, in the VOIP service of its Google Talk VOIP client, according to court papers.

“Google’s wrongful acts have damaged and will continue to damage RTI irreparably, and RTI has no adequate remedy at law for those wrongs and injuries,” the company said in court papers.

Google has been notified of its patent infringement and given a chance to remedy the situation by licensing technology from RTI, “but has refused to do so,” the company said in its court filing.

RTI is demanding a trial by jury to settle the suit, according to court papers.

Rich Tehrani, VOIP industry watcher and president of Technology Marketing Corp., has written about RTI in several entries on his “VOIP Blog” (

In an e-mail interview Friday, Tehrani said that RTI founder and President Jerry Weinberger invented least-cost routing technology that allows a phone system to find the cheapest carrier prior to placing a phone call. This technology is part of what enables VOIP calls to work. Other companies, such as Cisco Systems Inc. and Lucent Technologies Inc., have already paid RTI to use its patented technology, he said.

In an e-mailed statement from Google spokesman Steve Langdon, the company said it believes the lawsuit is “without merit” and plans to fight it.

RTI could not be reached for comment Friday.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now