Posts Tagged: "Google"

Publishing Companies Say Google is Liable for Promoting Pirated Textbooks

Several major educational publishing companies, including Macmillan, Elsevier and McGraw Hill, have sued Google in a New York district court alleging contributory and vicarious copyright infringement, trademark infringement and violations of New York’s General Business Law. The companies claim that Google’s search engine is facilitating infringement by promoting pirate sites that sell heavily discounted versions of educational textbooks.

Prost Dissents from CAFC’s Denial of New Trial on Damages for Google

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Monday, June 3, issued a precedential decision affirming a district court’s orders in favor of EcoFactor, Inc. against Google, whose appeal in part asked for a new trial on damages due to prejudicial error. Judge Prost dissented-in-part. EcoFactor sued Google for infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 8,738,327 relating to smart thermostat technology. EcoFactor said Google’s Nest thermostat products in particular were infringing. Google moved for summary judgment that certain claims of the patent were invalid as abstract under Section 101 but the district court denied the motion, and also denied Google’s Daubert motion to exclude the opinion of EcoFactor’s damages expert, Mr. Kennedy, whose testimony Google argued was “unreliable and therefore prejudicial,” according to the CAFC.

What RFK, Jr.’s VP Pick Could Mean for IP

Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr’s Vice-Presidential running mate, Nicole Shanahan, a mercurial patent analyst, intellectual property lawyer and incidentally rich entrepreneur, is in the position to influence declining patent reliability and increasing copyright abuse. But will she? This column is not intended to opine on Shanahan’s merits as an independent Vice-Presidential candidate, but to attempt to understand her motivation for running and its potential impact on IP rights, creators and assignees.

Federal Circuit Upholds Mixed ITC Determination Authorizing Google Redesigns

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Monday affirmed an International Trade Commission (ITC) final determination that said Google infringed five of Sonos, Inc.’s patents but which also found three proposed redesigns did not infringe. Sonos owns U.S. Patent Nos. 10,439,896 (“’896 patent”), 9,195,258 (“’258 patent”), 9,219,959 (“’959 patent”), 10,209,953 (“’953 patent”), and 8,588,949 (“’949 patent”). Sonos filed a complaint with the ITC alleging certain Google audio players and controllers infringed the patents and the ITC agreed, issuing a limited exclusion order and a cease-and-desist order (CDO) preventing Google from marketing the infringing products in the United States.

DMA Impact Remains Unclear on Deadline for ‘Gatekeeper’ Compliance

As of today, the world’s major platforms—Apple, Alphabet, Meta, Amazon, Microsoft and ByteDance—must be in full compliance with the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), an EU regulation intended to level the playing field in the digital marketplace. Signed into law in September 2022, the DMA imposed a complex regulatory framework upon the major Internet services platforms that are deemed to be “gatekeepers” (i.e. have a market capitalization of at least €75 billion [$83 billion USD]) due to their dominant market position. These gatekeepers each market at least one “core platform service” (CPS) that connects large numbers of users and business interests.

CAFC Clarifies Determination of ‘Implicit’ Claim Constructions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today issued a precedential decision vacating and remanding a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decision that a patent for a climate control system was not proven unpatentable by Google LLC and Ecobee, Inc. In so doing, the court clarified how to determine when a court or the PTAB has implicitly construed a claim.

Google and Qualcomm Reps Butt Heads on Impact of eBay

Last weekend, The Federalist Society hosted a panel as part of its 2023 National Lawyers Convention featuring in-house counsel from Google and Qualcomm, as well as two federal judges and an academic, to discuss whether U.S. law around IP injunctions is promoting or harming markets for innovators and creators. Predictably, Google’s and Qualcomm’s counsel had starkly different perspectives on that topic.

Google Escapes $20 Million Judgment as SCOTUS Denies Petition on CAFC Reissue Standard

Just a few weeks after Google waived its right to respond, the Supreme Court denied a petition challenging a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) decision that held a Texas district court erred in ruling against the search engine and tech behemoth. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found the inventors of a method for protecting computers from malware—Alfonso Cioffi and Allen Rozman (the patent is now assigned to Melanie, Megan and Morgan Rozman)—had proven that Google’s Chrome web browser infringed their reissue patents RE43,500, RE43,528, and RE43,529 and that the claims were not invalid. After a first time at the Federal Circuit in which the case was remanded to the district court, a jury awarded Cioffi, et. al. $20 million in past damages and the district court in post-trial review rejected Google’s “original patent defense.”

Sonos v. Google: A Decision Based on Ignorance of Patent Law That Must Be Overturned

An interesting tale of intrigue and woe is being written in the decade-long relationship between Google and Sonos. The most recent chapter ended with the district court finding the Sonos patents at issue in their patent litigation against Google were unenforceable due to laches because Sonos had the audacity to file a continuation and seek claims supported by—and actually incorporated from—an earlier filing. According to the district court, because Sonos could have filed those claims in the continuation earlier, that created a laches defense for Google.

Google Tells USPTO Proposed IPR Changes Would Stifle AI Innovation

On Thursday, Reuters reported that Google sent a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) criticizing proposed rule changes that the tech firm believes will stifle U.S. innovation. The internet giant expressly pointed to the field of artificial intelligence as a weak point for the USPTO and its patent examiners. The letter was signed by Halimah DeLaine Prado, General Counsel for Google.

SCOTUS Issues Denials in IP Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petitions for certiorari in a number of IP cases today, including three the U.S. Solicitor General had recommended rejecting. In Genius v. Google, ML Genius Holdings (Genius) attempted to sue Google for posting song lyrics from its website in Google search results. Genius’s petition asked the High Court to answer the question of whether the Copyright Act’s preemption clause allows a business “to invoke traditional state-law contract remedies to enforce a promise not to copy and use its content?”

Patent Thieves Should Not Be Special: We Need to Level the Playing Field to Curb ‘Efficient’ Infringement

Just over the mountain of Patent Eligibility Reform awaits The Thiefdom of Efficient Infringers. No other intellectual property criminal enjoys the legal immunities and protections that the patent thief enjoys. Other intellectual property criminals – the copyright infringers, the trademark infringers, and the trade secret thieves – all are subject to both civil and criminal liability, just like every other common criminal. But not the patent thieves. This one type of intellectual property criminal gets favored treatment and special protections under the law. Why is this?

Judge Calls Cellspin’s Motion for Recusal in Infringement Case ‘Divorced from the Law and Facts’

Last week, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued an order denying Cellspin Soft’s motion for recusal that sought the vacatur of a summary judgment that released Fitbit, Nike, Under Armour, and others from patent infringement liability. Judge Gonzalez Rogers wrote “in short, plaintiff’s attack on the integrity of the judiciary… not only demonstrates a measure of desperation, but is divorced from the law and the facts.”

Cellspin Says Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ Financial Ties to Silicon Valley Require Recusal

Earlier this month, patent owner Cellspin Soft filed a motion for recusal  under 28 U.S.C. § 455 seeking the vacatur of a summary judgment order entered in the Northern District of California by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers releasing several defendants from infringement liability, including Fitbit. Cellspin Soft’s motion points to several financial interests between Judge Gonzalez Rogers and Fitbit’s parent company Google, including business relationships developed by Judge Gonzalez Rogers’ husband through McKinsey & Company, as requiring recusal under Section 455, a statute that was recently raised by a petition for writ denied last December by the U.S. Supreme Court.

DOJ and Attorneys General Say Google’s Tactics Have ‘Broken’ Ad Tech Competition

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Attorneys General of eight U.S. states on Tuesday announced they are suing Google for antitrust violations of the Sherman Act with respect to the tech company’s monopoly on digital advertising technology. The Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Virginia joined the suit. In a 155-page complaint filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, the DOJ and Attorneys General explained that Google “has corrupted legitimate competition in the ad tech industry by engaging in a systematic campaign to seize control of the wide swath of high-tech tools used by publishers, advertisers, and brokers, to facilitate digital advertising.”