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Google ordered to pay hundreds of millions for stealing patented tech

Published Jan 29th, 2014 9:12AM EST
Google Patent Lawsuit Ruling

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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.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.

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