Google Ordered to Pay $16M More to Vringo
Google Inc. and four other companies have been ordered to pay $17.3 million in supplemental damages and interest to a subsidiary of the patent licensing company Vringo Inc.
The award, announced Friday, comes on top of a major jury verdict that Vringo and its lawyers at Dickstein Shapiro won against the companies in November 2012. A federal jury in Norfolk, Va., found then that Google and four co-defendants--AOL Inc., IAC/InterActiveCorp, Target Corp., and Gannett Co Inc.--infringed Vringo’s patents for a process of generating ads based on Internet search terms. It awarded the company $30 million in damages for past infringement and determined that the defendants should pay a royalty to Vringo for future infringement until its patents expire in 2016.
The case was initially brought by a patent licensing company called I/P Engine Inc., which sued Google in September 2011, alleging infringement of Internet advertising patents originally owned by a Lycos Inc. founder. Vringo, a publicly traded company, acquired I/P Engine in March 2012 and took over the case. Last year Vringo sued Microsoft for violating the same patents. Vringo got its start as a cell phone ringtone company, but it now largely focuses on its patent licensing business and litigation.
U.S. district judge Raymond Jackson in Alexandria, Va., on Friday awarded supplemental damages of $16.8 million to compensate Vringo for losses incurred before the judgment date but not factored into the verdict. Google, represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, is responsible for $15.8 million of those damages. An additional $536,707 was awarded in prejudgment interest.
The case is not yet over: Vringo is seeking a higher royalty rate and additional past damages. Google said it has designed around the patents and no longer infringes, but Vringo disagrees. “We feel comfortable we are going to win on this point,” said Vringo’s lead counsel Jeffrey Sherwood of Dickstein Shapiro.
Appeals by both sides are also pending at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, with Vringo taking issue with the district court decision to limit damages under the doctrine of latches, and Google appealing on broader grounds.
In addition, the United States Patent and Trademark Office is considering a request from Google for reexamination of certain claims of one of the asserted patents. The USPTO has previously upheld the validity of both of the asserted patents.
In addition to Sherwood, Vringo is represented by Dickstein Shapiro partners Dawn Albert, Kenneth Brothers and Frank Cimino. David Perlson, David Nelson and David Bilsker of Quinn Emanuel represent Google.