Cleland served as Deputy United States Coordinator for Communications and Information Policy in the George H. W. Bush Administration. Eight Congressional subcommittees have sought Cleland’s expert testimony and Institutional Investor twice ranked him the #1 independent analyst in his field. Scott Cleland has been profiled in Fortune, National Journal, Barrons, WSJ’s Smart Money, and Investors Business Daily. Ten publications have featured his op-eds. For a full bio see: www.ScottCleland.com.
Latest posts by Scott Cleland (see all)
- Why New FTC Will Be a Responsibility Reckoning for Google, Facebook, Amazon - April 28, 2018
- How Did Americans Lose Their Right to Privacy? - April 6, 2018
Let me start by defending Alphabet-Google’s right and decision to sue Uber for what it says was the “unlawful misappropriation of our trade secrets, patent infringement, and unfair competition,” by way of the alleged unauthorized downloading “over 14,000 highly confidential and proprietary design files” from Alphabet-Google-Waymo’s work on its proprietary self-driving car LiDAR hardware sensors.
I support every property owner’s right to protect their property from theft.
That said, when Alphabet-Google, arguably America’s worst corporate IP thief (see below), sues Uber for IP theft, it reminds us of the adage that there is “no honor among thieves.”
This appears to be a teachable moment for Uber’s legal defense team.
That’s because Google’s long career as the Master-IP-Thief — built upon the systematic, predatory, expropriation of others’ IP to gain unbeatable anti-competitive cost and time-to-market advantages — has provoked dozens of IP infringement cases against Google (see below).
These IP infringement lawsuits against Google, in turn have pressed Google to create copious new legal defenses, theories, strategies, delay-tactics, and parlor tricks, which provide Uber’s legal defense a Master-IP-Thief’s guide to beating or outlasting even a dead-to-rights IP infringement rap, like Uber appears to face.
This also appears to be a teachable moment for the auto industry, which is largely following Google’s modern-day, pied piper lead in driving fastest on the winding road towards a fully-autonomous vehicle future, because Alphabet-Google-Waymo’s Android Auto is itself built upon strategically-expropriated IP from Oracle-Java, that in turn provides Alphabet-Google-Waymo-Android-Auto-Waze-Maps with an insider’s insider view, all-access-pass, and Hoover-collection process of every other auto competitors’ proprietary data, metadata, and IP.
In addition, this incident exposes Alphabet-Google’s 10X hubris, AKA “Goobris,” and also its minimal self-awareness and maximal hypocrisy.
How else can one describe Alphabet-Google admitting in court, via its lawsuit against Uber, that contrary to dozens of other previous Google court filings, in dozens of Google IP theft cases, that Alphabet-Google-Waymo actually knows that IP theft is indeed wrong, illegal, and unfair competition; and that it knows exactly how IP theft harms the theft victim/competitor.
That’s because Alphabet-Google-Waymo explained that Otto/Uber “have taken Waymo’s intellectual property so that they could avoid the risk, time, and expense of independently developing their own technology.”
Where has that candor, honesty, and awareness of right and wrong been for the last fifteen years at Google?
Remembering the Alphabet-Google Master-IP-Thief Chronicles
VSL-MaxSound: Sadly, just like Uber’s apparent IP theft of Waymo’s IP was discovered by an inadvertent email of incriminating “smoking gun” documents to Google, Google’s IP theft of VSL-Max Sound’s IP, was discovered by VSL-Max Sound because Google inadvertently returned a non-disclosure document to VSL-Max Sound with “smoking gun” evidence — in the form of highly-incriminating “Post-it Notes” attached to the returned non-disclosure-agreement, reportedly signed by then Google VP of Product Development, Megan Smith.
Those Post-It Notes effectively chronicled Google’s predatory plans for stealing VSL-Max Sound’s industry-leading, video streaming trade secrets and patented technology that Google then would use — without permission or payment — to dramatically increase the video transmission quality and cost efficiency of YouTube’s then >10 billion daily video streams.
Just Monday, we learned how valuable that VSL-Max Sound IP theft apparently has become, because Google-YouTube announced people are watching a billion hours of video on YouTube daily, ten-times more than four years ago.
Overture: Most don’t know that Google’s hugely profitable ad-auction model (AdSense) was a trade secret and patented process that Google learned from, and then stole wholesale, from Overture in 2002 in an eerily similar way to the modis-operandi the VSL-Max Sound lawsuits chronicle.
Importantly, Google eventually settled with Overture for ~$250m in 2004, in order to seal the record from the public and to smooth the way for its blockbuster initial public offering in 2004.
[Note: Google’s legal team is the expert at getting courts to seal documents to cover-up its patterns of theft and other wrongdoing; for the evidence read: “Uncivil Secrecy,” an investigative report by the non-profit Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.]
In stealing Overture’s IP and then settling for $250m, Google has proved crime does pay – unbelievably well!
Google parlayed their theft of Overture’s ad-auction IP and $250m settlement into a dominant $80b a year in online advertising revenues and an amazing market capitalization of well over a half trillion dollars.
Oracle: When every other company that used, Java paid for a Java copyright license, in 2010 Google refused to pay one to Oracle for Android.
That enabled Google to market Android as a free, “open,” and fast-growing mobile operating system that then became a monopoly charged with anti-competitive tying by EU antitrust authorities.
The court record has accumulated substantial evidence that Google knew that it needed to license Java, but decided against paying anything for Java. Oracle is in year seven of its Android IP infringement lawsuit against Google that included a win in the Supreme Court and currently involves this latest appeal.
In the seven years since Google decided to use Java in its Android operating system without a license, Android has become the world’s dominant operating system with 87% market share per IDC, and enabled Google to dominate app usage on Android devices with Google commanding 16 of the top 20 Android apps downloaded over a billion times.
And last year, the EU in a Statement of Objections found that Google abused its search dominance in anti-competitively tying Google Search to Android OS for manufacturers and carriers.
Skyhook Wireless: Skyhook Wireless, the original inventor and leader in WiFi location targeting efficiency, charged that Google stole its trade secrets in one lawsuit, and its patented technology in another lawsuit, effectively alleging the same basic type of IP theft that the VSL-Max Sound lawsuits allege.
Engineered Architecture – To learn a very personal account of how Alphabet-Google, The Master-IP-Thief hurts inventors, listento how world-renowned, Israeli-American architect of skyscrapers, Eli Attia, chronicles how “Google stole his life’s work.”
Apparently, Google X is stealing and building a new business around Attia’s patented “Engineered Architecture” invention, a revolutionary new design and construction technology which integrates architecture and engineering to dramatically lower the time and cost of building large complex structures.
Late in life, Mr. Attia currently laments he “cannot initiate a legal battle against one of the greatest economic giants in the world.”
BuySafe: According to its patent infringement lawsuit, BuySafe effectively alleges it was the victim of Google’s IP theft, when Google deceptively and illegally gained access to BuySafe’s trade secrets to advance Google’s own competing “Trusted Stores” program.
Be In-CamUp: Here is a good description of, and a link to, the lawsuit that Be In-CamUp filed against Google for theft of trade secrets, breach of contract, and copyright infringement for stealing significant technology behind Google Hangouts. Sadly, it is yet another eerily-similar example of The Master-IP-Thief’s modus operandi in action.
Viacom: Google also outlasted Viacom’s lawsuit against Google-YouTube’s predatory facilitation of Viacom’s and others’ copyrighted videos. That lawsuit, since settled, produced copious evidence in the Undisputed Statement of Facts, that Google willfully engaged in aiding and abetting video piracy on YouTube to pressure video producers to use YouTube distribution at predatory low wholesale prices.
Apple: Before he passed away, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs famouslythreatened to “go thermonuclear” over Google-Android stealing of Apple’s patented iPhone features.
Trademarks; Early on, Google assaulted trademark law by selling companies’ trademarks as keyword ads, a practice which perversely forced trademark owners to pay for unnecessary search ads to protect their already-lawfully-owned, trademarked brands, from competitors’ Google-enabled trademark abuse.
Authors: Google also outlasted authors and publishers in court for several years over Google’s mass copying and commercial use of ~25 million copyrighted books without any permission or payment.
In sum, it is no coincidence all these 25+ entities have sued Google for IP theft: Oracle, Getty, Yelp, Viacom, Apple, Microsoft,VSL-Max Sound, ,Overture, Skyhook Wireless, Engineered Architecture, Buy Safe, Be In-CamUp, business directories, wire services, newspapers, broadcasters, movie studios, publishers,authors, visual artists, software providers, photographers, artists,graphic designers, illustrators, and filmmakers.
Like any syndicate that systematically runs afoul of the law, Google’s legal team has become a huge, comparative advantage and profit center to ensure that IP crime does pay if one masters beating the rap, outlasting victims’ litigation, and knowing just when to pay for it to go away, and not a moment sooner.
Now you know why Alphabet’s Googleopoly is considered the quintessential “winner-take-all” model.
Google Disrespect for Property Series
Part 1: Google TV: Dumb Content vs. Content is King [10-7-10]
Part 2: Why Google’s Motorola Patent Play Backfires [9-9-11]
Part 3: Google 21st Century Robber Baron [9-19-11]
Part 4: Google’s “Infringenovation” Secrets [10-3-11]
Part 5: Google’s Piracy Liabilities [11-9-11]
Part 6: Grand Theft Automated! Online Ad Economics Fuel Piracy, Oppose SOPA [11-30-11]
Part 7: The Evidence Google’s Systematic Theft is Anti-Competitive [1-20-12]
Part 8: The Real Reasons Google Killed SOPA/PIPA [1-24-12]
Part 9: Google’s Rap Sheet [6-4-12]
Part 10: Googleopoly IX: Google-Motorola’s Patents of Mass Destruction [7-10-12]
Part 11: Four Under-Appreciated Implications for Google from Apple-Samsung Verdict [9-5-12]
Part 12: What Made Apple’s Steve Jobs So Angry with Google-Android? [9-6-12]
Part 13: Google News-ster, Google Book-ster, YouTube-ster, Android-ster [11-2-12]
Part 14: Google’s Content Settlements are a Tacit Admission It is an Essential Facility [2-11-13]
Part 15: Google protesteth Larry Ellison too much that Google does not steal [8-28-13]Part 16: Special Report: Google on Piracy: Not Telling the Whole Truth [10-4-13]Part 17: Brito & Google: BlameThePiracyVictims.org [10-17-13]
Part 18: Google-YouAd is a Deceptive and Unfair Business Practice [10-24-13]
Part 19: Google’s Extensive Cover-up [2-25-14]
Part 20: Google’s Widespread Wiretapping [3-20-14]
Part 21: Google AdSense Lawsuit Spotlights the Corruption of Unaccountability [5-23-14]
Part 22: Google’s Illusion of Data Protection Security [9-7-14]
Part 23: Google Profiting from Hacked Celebrity Women Photos is “How Google Works” [10-6-14]
Part 24: Stealing from Competitors is “How Google Works” [10-2—14]
Part 25: Why is Google Obstructing Justice in Mississippi? EC Pay Attention [2-12-15]
Part 26: FCC’s AllVid Proposal Is Really the Great Google Ad Grab [1-29-16]
Part 27: The FCC’s Googleopoly Gatekeeper Navigation Device Set-up [2-17-16]
Part 28: AllVid: FCC-Sponsored Piracy Would Extend Google’s Monopoly & Monopsony [3-28-16]
Part 29: AllVid Deja-Vu: Google-YouTube’s Forcing Video to be Open to Piracy Again [4-13-16]
Part 30: Google’s Growing US Search/Android Share Complicates FCC’s AllVid Proposal [5-23-16]
Part 31: Google-Android’s Strategy to Monopolize Home Digital Information & Services [6-2-16]
Part 32: Why Google Can’t Buy Yahoo’s Search & Advertising Patents [6-10-16]
Part 33: Intimidation is “How Google Works” Ask State AGs or EU [6-18-15]
Part 34: New App-Based AllVid Proposal Smokes-out Google & Public Knowledge’s Agenda [6-20-16]
Part 35: Will FCC Allow Google to become the Fox that Guards its AllVid Henhouse? [8-25-16]
Part 36: Will FCC Force AllVid Search Neutrality on Pay TV Providers to Help Google? [9-14-16]
Part 37: How Google Is Anti-employment Anti-property & Pro-regulation [11-18-16]
Part 38: Goobris Alert! Master-IP-Thief Alphabet-Google Sues Uber for IP Theft [3-2-17]
[Originally Published at Precursor.Watch]