Chalk up another win for the patent trolls — and this time is was a big one. A United States District Court judge for the Northern District of Virginia in 2012 found Google guilty of stealing protected intellectual property and using it in the flagship AdWords advertising platform. On Tuesday evening, the judge finally decided on the penalty: a 1.3585% royalty rate on all U.S.-based AdWords revenue. According to Ars Technica’s math, that figure amounts to as much as $250 million annually on U.S. AdWords revenue of between $15 billion and $18 billion each year.
Who is the big winner in the deal? A patent troll — sorry, a firm that is “engaged in the innovation, development and monetization of intellectual property” — called Vringo, which sued Google back in 2011 using patents it did not invent, but rather acquired from Lycos. The patents expire in 2016 and Google is reportedly liable for damages from November 2012, when the judgement in this trial was first handed down.
When all is said and done, this judgement could cost Google more than $1 billion.