Google facing $125 million in damages after being found guilty of infringing on push notification patent

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According to newly published court docs, a company by the name of SimpleAir is seeking $125 million in damages after winning a software patent lawsuit against Google for infringing their push notification software. Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) were the offending services landing the search giant — and Android — in hot water.

During the trial, Google asked for a mistrial but in the end, was found guilty on all 5 claims by a jury verdict in Texas of infringing on SimpleAir’s patent (no. 7,035,914) described as a “system and method for transmission of data.” Given Google’s GCM and C2DM services all use similar technology for instant notifications on apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail — it was no contest.

What’s still up in the air is the actual dollar amount Google now owes SimpleAir, but a separate jury will decide on a dollar amount in a limited second trial. It should be noted that SimpleAir — who describes themselves as “an inventor-owned technology licensing company” — settled with Apple back in 2012 in a similar suit, where the 2 entered into a confidential licensing agreement, along with BlackBerry in 2012 and more recently, Microsoft late last year.

[PC World]

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  • Nathan Bryant

    That’s really shady. Settle with two companies that hate Google most likely, and then don’t settle with the mutual enemy?

    Cases like these shouldn’t be allowed.

    • Micah Dawson

      LOL it shouldn’t be allowed because they didn’t settle with your preferred OS/Company?

      • No_Nickname90

        Of course. We are on an Android website, so everything is automatically Android wins, others lose.
        #Sarcasm

      • Nathan Bryant

        You read it with assumption. Clearly they’re a patent troll. Stirring up trouble. Two companies that already dislike Google were approached to be settled with. Google was not. That’s shady.

        The patent issue has become a problem since Apple started taking everyone to court for petty things. There is a reason why the term patent troll is used. Off Push notifications though?

        If it happened to any company I would find it shady. I may favour Android, but that didn’t influence why I think it shouldn’t be allowed for such reasons. You can sue now for having the same color scheme smh. Companies are going to court to cripple competition, not because they’re ideas are being completely mimicked.

        I use an Android phone and an iPhone. I would use a Windows phone too, but it lacks mostly what I want in a phone.

      • Nathan Bryant

        I could honestly say you’re trolling. Who knows.

    • Dean Politis

      This is just Google’s turn. They sued Apple in 2012. They will likely settle with Google, as well.

  • johnny989

    Well obviously Google hurt the sale of SimpleAir devices with this… The innovative “inventor owned” company sold a whole 0 imaginary devices last quarter

    • Jason Yuen

      As much as I hate patent trolls, they do have a right to ownership of their patent. SimpleAir was never in the business of selling phones. They deal with information. In a similar case, if someone publishes a paper which becomes very profitable, but is discovered to be plagiarized from another source, would that source not be entitled to their original content? I hate to say it but patent trolls are being stolen from, and in this case Google is the thief. I for one hate patent trolls’ business model of prosecuting for profit, but nevertheless it is a valid model.

      • Dean Politis

        Go to SimpleAir’s web site. Nowhere do they tell you what patents do they hold. They refer generically on the main page to what spaces their patents fall into. They have a news page that deals with their lawsuits and settlements.

        • Dylan

          Maybe Google should have tried using it’s own patent search…

  • John Smith

    aka patent troll.

  • markgbe

    the patent system is soooooo stuuuuuupid. It’s too bad companies have to file lawsuits to make a profit.

    • Jason Yuen

      Agreed. Patent system is flawed. Perhaps patents should only be granted on things/processes that are actively being used in a reasonable matter. Whether the patent holder is effectively fund raising to bring that patent to life or actually being used in a product should be the grounds for granting a patent. Not simply for the sake of holding a patent. This might hurt the the research field, but could also stimulate private companies to push out their research results into a product or service that benefits the public.

  • Jman38

    Does anyone no for a fact that Apple, BlackBerry, and MS were not dragged into court prior to signing an agreement or Google wasn’t just being belligerent when SimpleAir forcefully suggested they make that same agreement. I have no issue with a legitimate patent being defended. This is not a patent for a shape.

  • scoter man1

    I’d counter sue for bullsh1tting if I were Google. I’d expect to win too.

    • Henri Weich Conradie

      I can see why Google asked for a mistrial. Many tech and software patent trials are a damn waste of time, money and resources. Get back to all the serious criminal court cases in the USA. They’re already years behind on those.

  • schitzengigles10

    Well, I’m sure 125 million is what Larry Page makes annually off his stock options, so covering this shouldn’t be a problem.

    • Lactose_the_Intolerant

      Annually? Dude has a net worth of $23 Billion…. pretty sure he made $125 Million in the time it took me to type this sentence :p

  • WhoaManWtF

    This is bull, this company didn’t invent or create anything… They are just damned patent trolls they should be thrown in prison for fraud not awarded money by our broken ass court system.

  • http://bit.ly/plusrichard Richard Soper

    I really cant stand the horrible patent system we have today. SimpleAir, a company with zero products can patent a technology that, to my knowledge, it doesnt use in any way. Then they can extort every other company out there for discovering this method on their own because they ended up using the same method. Had Google, Apple, or BlackBerry stolen code for this process, then they have a case. But just by theorizing a process, you shouldnt be granted exclusive rights to “legally” extort people.