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Google Faces AI Tech Patent Trial Brought by Singular Computing 

Google, legal, lawsuit

Google is currently embroiled in a trial that began Tuesday (Jan. 9) in Boston, where it faces accusations of patent infringement related to the processors it uses to power artificial intelligence (AI) technology in its key products. 

The trial, brought by Singular Computing, alleges that Google copied the technology of computer scientist Joseph Bates and used it to enhance AI features in popular services such as Google Search, Gmail and Google Translate, Reuters reported Tuesday. 

Singular is seeking up to $7 billion in damages, which would be a record-breaking patent infringement award in the United States, according to the report. 

The company, which was founded by Bates, claims that Google unlawfully used its patented technology to develop its Tensor Processing Units (TPUs), which are crucial for Google’s AI capabilities, the report said. 

According to Singular’s complaint, which was filed in 2019, Bates shared his computer-processing innovations with Google between 2010 and 2014, per the report. The lawsuit alleges that Google’s TPUs infringe on two of Singular’s patents and utilize an improved architecture discovered by Bates that revolutionizes AI training and inference. 

Google has denied the allegations and called Singular’s patents “dubious,” according to the report. The tech giant argues that its processors were developed independently over many years and work in different ways than Singular’s patented technology. 

In a court filing, Google stated that its engineers had mixed feelings about the technology and ultimately rejected it, informing Bates that his idea was not suitable for the type of applications Google was developing, per the report. 

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, according to the report. 

In addition to this trial, a separate case involving the validity of Singular’s patents is being heard Tuesday by a U.S. appeals court in Washington, the report said. Google has appealed to invalidate Singular’s patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

Google and Meta held the greatest percentage of AI research papers cited since 2020, according to the “State of AI Report 2023 released by venture capital (VC) firm Air Street Capital

In one recent development in the AI field, Google said on Dec. 13 that it is offering its developer clients a series of enhanced AI features that let them build applications using Google’s Gemini AI. 

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