Regions

Federal jury awards Google Inc $1 for winning case against patent-licensing firm bugging customers

January 25
4:22 PM 2014

Google Inc's $1 victory in its case against a patent-licensing firm could translate to a lot more savings for some of the search giant's customers, Bloomberg reported. A Marshall, Texas federal jury ruled that Beneficial Innovations Inc had violated the settlement agreement it had with Google when it filed a case against Google's clients.

Nominal damages amounting to $1 was awarded by the jury to Google. The amount was all the search firm wanted since its primary purpose was to clarify that its customers were included in the license, the report said.

The lawsuit shows how technology firms are suing back patent-licensing companies that file cases against their customers. Tech companies like Google and Adobe Inc are increasingly seeking the refuge of courts and the US Patent and Trademark Office as they challenge patents. They are also urging Congress to pass legislation to dissuade cases from being filed against technology users, the report said.

Adobe Associate General Counsel Dana Rao told Bloomberg, "We have the resources, we understand the technology, we know how our product is supposed to be used, and we're in the best position to defend our customers." Adobe had also filed cases against patent-licensing firms on behalf of its clients, the report said.

In 2007 and 2009, Beneficial Innovations filed a case of patent infringement against Google. The two parties came to an agreement in 2010 and Google paid to have a license to the patents. Google said that agreement included customers like Autotrader.com Inc and Demand Media Inc who were utilizing the search firm's DoubleClick advertising product, the report said.

In a statement, Google Spokesperson Matt Kallman said, "Beneficial went back on the terms of its own license agreement, pursuing our customers for simply using our licensed services. This is a great outcome that the jury worked hard to get right."

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