Former Ringtone Firm Could Earn Hundreds of Millions of Dollars from Google Patent Dispute
Published on: 29th Jan 2014
Ringtone company turned patent troll Vringo has won a significant victory against Google that could be transformative for the little patent holding company.
Back in December 2012 the company won a patent lawsuit against Google for infringing two patents that govern some aspects of Google's advertising business.
Vringo acquired the patents from another search engine company, Lycos when it merged with Lycos's patent holding company in March 2012. That decision saw its ringtone founding CEO resign from the company.
In the 2012 ruling, Vringo was awarded a lump sum of US$30 million in damages, but that was less than the firm wanted, so it appealed.
US District Judge Raymond Jackson has ruled that changes made by Google to avoid infringing the patents were simply cosmetic issues, and that Vringo's request for royalties on revenues rather than a lump-sum payment were valid.
The court set the royalty rate at 1.36 percent of USA based revenues generated by Google's AdWords platform -- which underpins the bulk of its US revenues.
While Google does not break out the revenues in detail, the scale of the platform affected is huge, and Vringo can expect to earn royalties that could reach hundreds of millions of dollars from this settlement - every year.
Due to the size of the payout, Google can be expected to fight this award aggressively.
Jennifer Polse, Google's lead patent lawyer on the Vringo case, said "We believe strongly in our pending appeal in this matter, and we anticipate seeking Federal Circuit review of today's decision as well,"
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