updated 07:20 pm EDT, Wed October 3, 2012
Lawsuit over advertising placement, web search technology
US District Judge Raymond Jackson has denied Google a motion for a summary dismissal of Vringo's patent lawsuit. First filed in 2011, the lawsuit claims that Google, AOL, and InterActiveCorp (IAC) violated two acquired patents: one related to web searches, and the other involving advertising placement based on search keywords. Vringo is seeking at least $696 million from the search engine for violation of its patents.
"Having carefully reviewed the parties' pleadings, the court finds that summary judgment is inappropriate at this time as there are genuine issues of material fact in dispute," the judge decreed in his order. The patents in question were developed by former Lycos Chief Technology Officers Andrew Lang and Donald Kosak in the late '90s, and purchased by non-practicing entity I/P Engine, also known as Innovate/Protect. The company merged with Vringo in late July.
Following the merger, Vringo sued Google, along with partners AOL, Gannett, IAC, and Target, contending that Google uses the patent to serve advertisements to users -- illicitly delivering over $38 billion a year to Google. AOL has partially settled, but remains involved in the suit as it contracts advertisement from Google.
Since the patent acquisition, the six-year-old company's stock has increased in value from less than $1 per share in April, to $4.30, with a jump of 39 percent in one day after the judge's ruling. Vringo has more than 400,000 monthly subscribers of its various services, and the Vringo application suite is preloaded on ZTE phones.