Singular Computing, a hardware and software development company, has received an undisclosed amount from Google in a settlement in Massachusetts federal court, ending a five-year lawsuit brought against Google by Singular founder Dr. Joseph Bates. This brought an end to the civil lawsuit. patent infringement (PDF, organizer register).
The infringement is Artificial intelligence (AI) tools Bates invented the development and training of large-scale language models (LLMs), which he claims were incorporated into Google's Tensor Processing Unit devices.
These originally powered Google Workspace's generative AI and smart chip capabilities, and are now available for rent through Google Workspace. cloud hosting provider Google Cloud also handles the tech giant's own data center workloads.
The truth was this
Of course, an out-of-court settlement is not in itself an admission of wrongdoing. This is because such a settlement is a means for both parties to avoid a trial and therefore results in a judgment in favor of either party. We know as much as you do, because Google hasn't made any statements suggesting any wrongdoing.
Still, the advantage of Singular Computing is clear. Bates is “praying,” according to the filing.[ed]“require the court to grant a jury trial and award damages'' proposed in Pre-trial declaration (Another PDF hosted by Reg, Cheers) falls within the $1.6 billion to $5.19 billion USD range. Ladies and Gentlemen, and self-proclaimed ones, it's about confidence, and it looks like it's paying off (!!).
From the outset of the lawsuit, Google denied knowledge of Bates' three related U.S. patents (8407273B2, 9218156B2 and 10416961B2) and its technology allows many low-precision calculations per processor cycle,[ed] Moving forward in setting the record straight in court. ”
Google spokesman Jose Castañeda remains tight-lipped, saying only: “We have always taken our disclosure obligations seriously, and we will continue to do so.” This is a very well-written sentence designed to mean what the reader wants it to mean, so I'll leave it at that.
But less puzzling is one comment from Google's senior scientist, Jeff Dean. In an internal email uncovered by Singular's complaint, he wrote to his colleagues that Bates' invention was “very well suited” for his Google workloads. Although this is definitely a “rum” to use the correct legal term, it is still not acceptable. Google continues, and will likely continue to claim, that no one actually working on his TPU at their company had access to Bates' design.
Representatives for Cingular have not commented since the settlement. This halted a trial that was expected to last several weeks. This means that for the foreseeable future, it is highly unlikely that this lawsuit will be brought again by either party.