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Google Wins Patent-Infringement Appeal Against Vringo
Court overturns $30 million verdict against Google and its customers.
Google appears to have finally come out on top in its patent-infringement battle with Vringo Inc. In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington overturned the nearly $30.5 million verdict against Google from 2012.
Vringo claimed filtering technology used in Google’s AdWords and AdSense products was covered by two Lycos patents that the firm acquired in 2011. Vringo sued Google and its customers AOL, Gannett, IAC and Target in September 2011. Google agreed to cover costs incurred by the other companies.
In its appeal, Google countered that the patents should be invalidated because they covered filtering methods that were well-known and obvious. The Appeals Court sided with Google’s assertions:
We agree and hold that no reasonable jury could conclude otherwise. The asserted claims describe a system that combines content and collaborative data in filtering each “informon”—or information item—for relevance to an individual user’s search query. . . . As the asserted patents themselves acknowledge, however, search engines, content based filtering, and collaborative filtering were all well-known in the art at the time of the claimed invention.”
Vringo Inc. stock tumbled as much as 73 percent on Friday after the ruling was issued.