After just a week, a federal jury from the Eastern District of Texas returned a guilty verdict against Google. It has determined that it had infringed on SimpleAir’s patent and used it for Android’s push notification services.
Push notification is definitely nothing new but has probably become so common that it only seems natural to have it. This system allows online services to instantly inform users about new events or items instead of relying on apps to check for new items fixed intervals. Unfortunately, based on the jury’s verdict, Google’s implementation on Android infringes on five claims of SimpleAir’s ‘914 patent.
SimpleAir didn’t actually develop this patent itself. It is a company that merely owns patents and then licenses them to others, taking them to court should they refuse. SimpleAir has also tried to sue Apple for a number of patents, but the Cupertino-based company settled the matter outside of court. Unfortunately for Google, its decision to fight back didn’t end so favorably. The USPTO has also confirmed the validity of SimpleAir’s patent February last year, making Google’s options for appeal rather small.
The patent verdict will most likely affect Google Cloud Messaging and Android Cloud to Device Messaging. These are the services used by apps like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and many others to push out instant notifications. Since the initial jury failed to reach a unanimous decision regarding the amount of damages, which SimpleAir wants to be $125 million, a second jury will try to do so in an upcoming limited trial.