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8/13/2008
03:49 PM
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Google Searches Sought In Defamation Suit Against Cisco

The subpoena demands Google reveal information associated with blog postings, Internet searches, and financial data related to a libel lawsuit filed last year against Cisco.

Attorney Eric M. Albritton has filed a subpoena demanding that Google reveal information associated with blog postings, Internet searches, and financial data related to a libel lawsuit he filed last year against Cisco.

Albritton wants to see information about the now-defunct Patent Troll Tracker blog, hosted on Google's Blogger service. He is seeking from Google all documents referring to or related to communications between Richard Frenkel, Cisco's former director of intellectual property who maintained the Troll Tracker blog; Dennis Crouch, a law professor at the University of Missouri who maintains the Patently-O blog; and other individuals associated with Cisco.

He also is seeking Patent Troll Tracker blog posts and information about blog posts made on Oct. 16 and 17 last year.

Finally, he is seeking all documents related to searches of the Internet and of the blog that involve his name.

The term "patent troll" is used to deride people or companies believed to be abusing the patent system for unjust gain.

Albritton's subpoena follows from his defamation lawsuit against Cisco and related persons for posts to the Patent Troll Tracker blog. He alleges that Frenkel published libelous statements by claiming that he had conspired with a court clerk to alter court documents to prevent a patent lawsuit from being thrown out. Albritton further alleges that Frenkel did so at the direction of John Noh, a former Cisco senior public relations manager, and of Mallun Yen, Cisco's VP of worldwide intellectual property.

On the Patently-O blog, Crouch provides a history of the case.

Noh left Cisco for Brocade Communications in late May and Frenkel recently joined Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Asked whether it intended to comply with the subpoena, Google did not immediately respond. It's likely that Google will attempt to limit the scope of the subpoena.

Cisco also did not respond to a request for comment.

Both Cisco and Google belong to a group called the Coalition for Patent Fairness, which lobbies for patent reform.

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