Google loses big to patent troll Vringo in Virginia court

February 1, 2014
5

This week, a Federal Judge in Virginia ruled that Google must pay 1.36% of revenues to a company called Vringo. The heart of the suit pertains to patents held by Vringo, which once belonged to Lycos. If you don’t remember Lycos, they were one of the many terrible web portals Google helped to eradicate from the web.


The patents have to do with advertisements, making this of particular concern to Google. Specifically, this attacks AdWords, which composes a big part of Google’s revenue. The Judge ruled that the intellectual property in question affects roughly 20.9% of Google’s AdWords revenue, with 6.5% of that being kicked back to Vringo.

Vringo has sued Google previously, winning $30 million. This was in 2011, shortly after they acquired the patents from Lycos. In response, google changed their ad auction system, but it wasn’t unique enough for the law. Vringo sued again, and won another settlement.

Though Google has other interests, their bread and butter is still advertisements. As they’re known to do, Google is vowing to fight this to the bitter end. A settlement in the first case was a set amount, and Google likely takes umbrage to the fact that in this most recent decision, a percentage of revenue was awarded. That, over time, could scale. It also provides a variable to the bottom line, and nobody likes that.

VIA: Wired


Recent Stories
  • Cory Wilson

    Sounds like the court was just as corrupt. And what kind of name is “Vringo”?

  • David Wales

    Have the rules changed? Don’t they need to prove they EVER intend to use the patent to be able to defend it?

  • Tristan Escalada

    It seems like maybe you were too busy copying this news from Wired to look up what Lycos’s contribution to the internet was. Had you done a search, you may have been surprised to learn that the act of searching the internet was their idea. You also might have learned that Wired used to be a Lycos property as well. In fact, I can almost guarantee you that if you spent any time on the internet today that you probably used several technologies that Lycos pioneered. If after reading this, you do happen make your way to lycos.com, you might want to do a quick search on what the word eradicate means as well.

    Maybe you should think about showing some respect to the people who laid the groundwork for what the internet is today.

    I guess this sort of reporting why I read droidlife for my android news.

  • GreyCelt_PDX

    When is someone somewhere going to step in and eradicate these patent trolls who’s only purpose is to buy patents from dying or dead companies and then sue whoever infringes one of them!? I mean, really, I’ll give respect where respect is due and if Lycos created something then they should get credit for it. However, I don’t think Vringo had ANYTHING to do with ANY of that innovation and shouldn’t be able to make $$$$ off of it! Laws need to be changed and companies like Vringo need to go away!

    • Tyler Fuller

      The people who are behind Vringo, specifically Ken Lang, created and filed the patents with Lycos back in the 1990s. It’s not that he bought patents with intentions to be a patent troll, this is his technology that Google is using, something he created, and patented himself and the Lycos team.