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Updated January 9th, 2024 at 17:05 IST

Google faces landmark multibillion-dollar patent trial in US over AI technology

Singular Computing claims that Google copied its technology to power AI features in key products, including Google Search, Gmail, and Google Translate.

Reported by: Business Desk
Google faces landmark multibillion-dollar AI patent trial
Google faces landmark multibillion-dollar AI patent trial | Image:Google AI
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Google AI lawsuit: Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is entering a federal jury trial in Boston on Tuesday, facing allegations that the processors it employs for artificial intelligence (AI) technology infringe on patents owned by Singular Computing, founded by computer scientist Joseph Bates. Singular Computing claims that Google copied its technology to power AI features in key products, including Google Search, Gmail, and Google Translate.

Singular Computing, based in Massachusetts, alleges that Google's Tensor Processing Units, introduced in 2016 to enhance AI capabilities, replicate Bates' technology and violate two patents. The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2019, asserts that Bates shared his computer-processing innovations with Google between 2010 and 2014. Singular is seeking up to $7 billion in damages, potentially surpassing the largest-ever patent infringement award in US history.

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A Google court filing dismissed Singular's patents as "dubious" and emphasised that Google independently developed its processors over several years. Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda stated, "We look forward to setting the record straight in court."

The trial, expected to last two to three weeks, will focus on whether Google's processors, specifically versions 2 and 3 introduced in 2017 and 2018, violate Singular's patent rights. Google contends that its processors operate differently from Singular's patented technology, and the patents are invalid.

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Singular's complaint highlights the significance of Google's Tensor Processing Units in powering AI functions such as speech recognition, content generation, and ad recommendations. Google introduced these units to revolutionise AI training and inference methods.

In a related development, a US appeals court in Washington will hear arguments on the same day regarding the validity of Singular's patents in a separate case. Google has appealed this case from the US Patent and Trademark Office, raising questions about the overall impact on Singular's patent claims.

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(With Reuters inputs.)

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Published January 9th, 2024 at 17:05 IST

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