Google ordered to pay SimpleAir $85m for infringing mobile, cloud patents
Following a verdict handed down at the end of January this year, Google has been ordered to pay software licensing company SimpleAir $85m in damages over its infringement of the company’s patents related to sending notifications from cloud services to mobile devices.
John Payne, the lead inventor and majority owner of SimpleAir told Business Cloud News that the company is pleased with the result of the case and hopes this resolves the conflict once and for all.
The accused services, the Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) services, are used by Google to process and send instant notifications for Android applications from services like Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.
In January a Texas jury found Google had violated one of SimpleAir’s patents, which details a system and method for “data communication connecting on-line networks with on-line and off-line computers,” a year after the US Patent and Trademark Office concluded after re-examination that the patent was indeed valid.
SimpleAir, an inventor-owned technology licensing company, was seeking damages of between $125m and $146m, but Google argued the invention was worth substantially less, $6m during an infringing period that included 193 mobile devices. A different Texas jury awarded SimpleAir $85m in damages Wednesday.
“We’re satisfied with the jury’s decision,” said John Payne, the lead inventor and majority owner of SimpleAir.
“We’re very happy with the outcomes the juries provided, especially when they had to consider a wide range of factors that can get very technical at times, and include bar arguments and non-infringing alternatives – which is actually most often why they award damages that are lower than the actual damages sought.”
“Procedurally, they certainly could appeal. Most people would sit down and have a discussion at this point. But they are Google. Who knows what Google will do,” he added.
SimpleAir holds eight US patents and several pending patent applications in the areas of wireless content delivery, mobile applications, and push notifications. It has licensed its inventions to leading cloud and technology companies including Facebook, Apple and the Weather Channel.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the outcome of the suit.
As this patent suit concludes another looks set to begin for the Mountainview-based search giant. Last week a US Court of Appeals decided that Google will face further court proceedings after California-based Vederi LLC won a decision reversal related to Google’s infringement of four of the company’s patents, all related to methods for creating synthesised images of a geographic and how they have been implemented on Google Maps.