GOOG » Topics » Intellectual Property

These excerpts taken from the GOOG 10-K filed Feb 13, 2009.

Intellectual Property

We rely on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws in the U.S. and other jurisdictions as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our proprietary technology and our brand. We also enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants and confidentiality agreements with other third parties, and we rigorously control access to proprietary technology.

Google, YouTube, DoubleClick, DART, AdSense, AdWords, Gmail, I’m Feeling Lucky, PageRank, Blogger, orkut, Picasa, SketchUp and Postini are registered trademarks in the U.S. Our unregistered trademarks include, Blog*Spot, Jaiku, Android, Open Handset Alliance, OpenSocial, Panoramio, and Knol.

 

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The first version of the PageRank technology was created while Larry and Sergey attended Stanford University, which owns a patent to PageRank. The PageRank patent expires in 2017. We hold a perpetual license to this patent. In October 2003, we extended our exclusivity period to this patent through 2011, at which point our license will become non-exclusive.

Circumstances outside our control could pose a threat to our intellectual property rights. For example, effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which our products and services are distributed. Also, the efforts we have taken to protect our proprietary rights may not be sufficient or effective. Any significant impairment of our intellectual property rights could harm our business or our ability to compete. Also, protecting our intellectual property rights is costly and time consuming. Any increase in the unauthorized use of our intellectual property could make it more expensive to do business and harm our operating results.

Companies in the internet, technology and media industries own large numbers of patents, copyrights and trademarks and frequently enter into litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. As we face increasing competition, the possibility of intellectual property claims against us grows. Our technologies may not be able to withstand any third-party claims or rights against their use.

Intellectual Property

We rely on a combination of
patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws in the U.S. and other jurisdictions as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our proprietary technology and our brand. We also enter into confidentiality and
invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants and confidentiality agreements with other third parties, and we rigorously control access to proprietary technology.

STYLE="margin-top:12px;margin-bottom:0px; text-indent:4%">Google, YouTube, DoubleClick, DART, AdSense, AdWords, Gmail, I’m Feeling Lucky, PageRank, Blogger, orkut, Picasa, SketchUp and Postini are
registered trademarks in the U.S. Our unregistered trademarks include, Blog*Spot, Jaiku, Android, Open Handset Alliance, OpenSocial, Panoramio, and Knol.

 


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The first version of the PageRank technology was created while Larry and Sergey attended Stanford
University, which owns a patent to PageRank. The PageRank patent expires in 2017. We hold a perpetual license to this patent. In October 2003, we extended our exclusivity period to this patent through 2011, at which point our license will become
non-exclusive.

Circumstances outside our control could pose a threat to our intellectual property rights. For example, effective
intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which our products and services are distributed. Also, the efforts we have taken to protect our proprietary rights may not be sufficient or effective. Any significant
impairment of our intellectual property rights could harm our business or our ability to compete. Also, protecting our intellectual property rights is costly and time consuming. Any increase in the unauthorized use of our intellectual property could
make it more expensive to do business and harm our operating results.

Companies in the internet, technology and media industries own large
numbers of patents, copyrights and trademarks and frequently enter into litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. As we face increasing competition, the possibility of intellectual property
claims against us grows. Our technologies may not be able to withstand any third-party claims or rights against their use.

Government Regulation

We are subject to a number of foreign and domestic laws and regulations that affect companies conducting business on the internet. In
addition, laws and regulations relating to user privacy, freedom of expression, content, advertising, information security and intellectual property rights are being debated and considered for adoption by many countries throughout the world. We face
risks from some of the proposed legislation that could be passed in the future.

In the U.S., laws relating to the liability of providers
of online services for activities of their users and other third parties are currently being tested by a number of claims, which include actions for libel, slander, invasion of privacy and other tort claims, unlawful activity, copyright and
trademark infringement and other theories based on the nature and content of the materials searched, the ads posted or the content generated by users. Certain foreign jurisdictions are also testing the liability of providers of online services for
activities of their users and other third parties. Any court ruling that imposes liability on providers of online services for activities of their users and other third parties could harm our business.

STYLE="margin-top:12px;margin-bottom:0px; text-indent:4%">A range of other laws and new interpretations of existing laws could have an impact on our business. For example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
has provisions that limit, but do not necessarily eliminate, our liability for listing, linking or hosting third-party content that includes materials that infringe copyrights. The Child Online Protection Act and the Children’s Online Privacy
Protection Act restrict the distribution of materials considered harmful to children and impose additional restrictions on the ability of online services to collect information from children under 13. In the area of data protection, many states have
passed laws requiring notification to users when there is a security breach for personal data, such as California’s Information Practices Act. The costs of compliance with these laws may increase in the future as a result of changes in
interpretation. Furthermore, any failure on our part to comply with these laws may subject us to significant liabilities.

Similarly, the
application of existing laws prohibiting, regulating or requiring licenses for certain businesses of our advertisers, including, for example, online gambling, distribution of pharmaceuticals, adult content, financial services, alcohol or firearms,
can be unclear. Application of these laws in an unanticipated manner could expose us to substantial liability and restrict our ability to deliver services to our users.

FACE="Times New Roman" SIZE="2">We also face risks due to government failure to preserve the internet’s basic neutrality as to the services and sites that users can access through their broadband service providers. Such a failure to enforce
network neutrality could limit the internet’s pace of innovation and the ability of large competitors, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop and deliver new products, features and services, which could harm our business.

STYLE="margin-top:12px;margin-bottom:0px; text-indent:4%">We are also subject to federal, state and foreign laws regarding privacy and protection of user data. We post on our web site our privacy policies and
practices concerning the use and disclosure of user data. Any failure by us to comply with

 


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our posted privacy policies or privacy-related laws and regulations could result in proceedings against us by governmental authorities or others, which could
potentially harm our business. In addition, the interpretation of data protection laws, and their application to the internet, in Europe and other foreign jurisdictions is unclear and in a state of flux. There is a risk that these laws may be
interpreted and applied in conflicting ways from country to country and in a manner that is not consistent with our current data protection practices. Complying with these varying international requirements could cause us to incur additional costs
and change our business practices. Further, any failure by us to protect our users’ privacy and data could result in a loss of user confidence in our services and ultimately in a loss of users, which could adversely affect our business.

In addition, because our services are accessible worldwide, certain foreign jurisdictions have claimed and others may claim that we are
required to comply with their laws, even where we have no local entity, employees or infrastructure.

These excerpts taken from the GOOG 10-K filed Feb 15, 2008.

Intellectual Property

We rely on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws in the U.S. and other jurisdictions as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our proprietary technology and our brand. We also enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants and confidentiality agreements with other third parties, and we rigorously control access to proprietary technology.

Google, AdSense, AdWords, Gmail, I’m Feeling Lucky, PageRank, Blogger, orkut, Picasa and Keyhole are registered trademarks in the U.S. Our unregistered trademarks include, Blog*Spot, Writely and YouTube.

The first version of the PageRank technology was created while Larry and Sergey attended Stanford University, which owns a patent to PageRank. The PageRank patent expires in 2017. We hold a perpetual license to this patent. In October 2003, we extended our exclusivity period to this patent through 2011, at which point our license will become non-exclusive.

Circumstances outside our control could pose a threat to our intellectual property rights. For example, effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which our products and services are distributed. Also, the efforts we have taken to protect our proprietary rights may not be sufficient or effective. Any significant impairment of our intellectual property rights could harm our business or our ability to compete. Also, protecting our intellectual property rights is costly and time consuming. Any increase in the unauthorized use of our intellectual property could make it more expensive to do business and harm our operating results.

Companies in the internet, technology and media industries own large numbers of patents, copyrights and trademarks and frequently enter into litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. As we face increasing competition, the possibility of intellectual property claims against us grows. Our technologies may not be able to withstand any third-party claims or rights against their use.

Intellectual Property

SIZE="2">We rely on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws in the U.S. and other jurisdictions as well as confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect our proprietary technology and our brand. We also
enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants and confidentiality agreements with other third parties, and we rigorously control access to proprietary technology.

STYLE="margin-top:12px;margin-bottom:0px; text-indent:4%">Google, AdSense, AdWords, Gmail, I’m Feeling Lucky, PageRank, Blogger, orkut, Picasa and Keyhole are registered trademarks in the U.S. Our
unregistered trademarks include, Blog*Spot, Writely and YouTube.

The first version of the PageRank technology was created while Larry and
Sergey attended Stanford University, which owns a patent to PageRank. The PageRank patent expires in 2017. We hold a perpetual license to this patent. In October 2003, we extended our exclusivity period to this patent through 2011, at which point
our license will become non-exclusive.

Circumstances outside our control could pose a threat to our intellectual property rights. For
example, effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which our products and services are distributed. Also, the efforts we have taken to protect our proprietary rights may not be sufficient or effective. Any
significant impairment of our intellectual property rights could harm our business or our ability to compete. Also, protecting our intellectual property rights is costly and time consuming. Any increase in the unauthorized use of our intellectual
property could make it more expensive to do business and harm our operating results.

Companies in the internet, technology and media
industries own large numbers of patents, copyrights and trademarks and frequently enter into litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. As we face increasing competition, the possibility of
intellectual property claims against us grows. Our technologies may not be able to withstand any third-party claims or rights against their use.

SIZE="2">Government Regulation

We are subject to a number of foreign and domestic laws and regulations that affect companies
conducting business on the internet. In addition, laws and regulations relating to user privacy, freedom of expression,

 


14







Table of Contents



content, advertising, information security and intellectual property rights are being debated and considered for adoption by many countries throughout the
world. We face risks from some of the proposed legislation that could be passed in the future.

In the U.S., laws relating to the liability
of providers of online services for activities of their users and other third parties are currently being tested by a number of claims, which include actions for libel, slander, invasion of privacy and other tort claims, unlawful activity, copyright
and trademark infringement and other theories based on the nature and content of the materials searched, the ads posted or the content generated by users. Certain foreign jurisdictions are also testing the liability of providers of online services
for activities of their users and other third parties. Any court ruling that imposes liability on providers of online services for activities of their users and other third parties could harm our business.

STYLE="margin-top:12px;margin-bottom:0px; text-indent:4%">A range of other laws and new interpretations of existing laws could have an impact on our business. For example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
has provisions that limit, but do not necessarily eliminate, our liability for listing, linking or hosting third-party content that includes materials that infringe copyrights. The Child Online Protection Act and the Children’s Online Privacy
Protection Act restrict the distribution of materials considered harmful to children and impose additional restrictions on the ability of online services to collect information from children under 13. In the area of data protection, many states have
passed laws requiring notification to users when there is a security breach for personal data, such as California’s Information Practices Act. The costs of compliance with these laws may increase in the future as a result of changes in
interpretation. Furthermore, any failure on our part to comply with these laws may subject us to significant liabilities.

Similarly, the
application of existing laws prohibiting, regulating or requiring licenses for certain businesses of our advertisers, including, for example, online gambling, distribution of pharmaceuticals, adult content, financial services, alcohol or firearms,
can be unclear. Application of these laws in an unanticipated manner could expose us to substantial liability and restrict our ability to deliver services to our users.

FACE="Times New Roman" SIZE="2">We also face risks due to government failure to preserve the internet’s basic neutrality as to the services and sites that users can access through their broadband service providers. Such a failure to enforce
network neutrality could limit the internet’s pace of innovation and the ability of large competitors, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop and deliver new products, features and services, which could harm our business.

STYLE="margin-top:12px;margin-bottom:0px; text-indent:4%">We are also subject to federal, state and foreign laws regarding privacy and protection of user data. We post on our web site our privacy policies and
practices concerning the use and disclosure of user data. Any failure by us to comply with our posted privacy policies or privacy-related laws and regulations could result in proceedings against us by governmental authorities or others, which could
potentially harm our business. In addition, the interpretation of data protection laws, and their application to the internet, in Europe and other foreign jurisdictions is unclear and in a state of flux. There is a risk that these laws may be
interpreted and applied in conflicting ways from country to country and in a manner that is not consistent with our current data protection practices. Complying with these varying international requirements could cause us to incur additional costs
and change our business practices. Further, any failure by us to protect our users’ privacy and data could result in a loss of user confidence in our services and ultimately in a loss of users, which could adversely affect our business.

In addition, because our services are accessible worldwide, certain foreign jurisdictions have claimed and others may claim that we are
required to comply with their laws, even where we have no local entity, employees or infrastructure.

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