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Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Google Loses AdWords Patent Case

Google has been ordered by a court in Virginia to pay royalty to I/P Engine for infringing two of its patents through the AdWords advertising system.

District Judge Raymond A. Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk division decided Tuesday that I/P Engine, a patent licensing subsidiary of Vringo, should be paid an ongoing royalty rate of 6.5 percent on a part of AdWords revenue.

Google had tried to redesign AdWords and remove functions of its system that infringed I/P Engine's IP. However, the judge ruled earlier this month that the modified system was "nothing more than a colorable variation of the system adjudged to infringe," and ordered the parties to negotiate an appropriate ongoing royalty rate.

Google has already appealed the court's decisions in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and is planning to appeal the royalty award as well.

The story began in Sept. 15, 2011, when I/P Engine filed a complaint against AOL, Google, Target and others, alleging that the defendants had infringed two of its patents through the AdWords search advertising system which the companies were using.

On Nov. 6, 2012, a jury found that Google and the other defendants had infringed the asserted claims of the two I/P Engine patents. The jury awarded I/P Engine US$30.5 million in damages and a running royalty rate of 3.5 percent instead of a lump sum. In an order this month, the District Court ordered that I/P Engine should get $17.32 million from the defendants for supplemental damages and prejudgment interest.

Street View fine in Korea

Seperately, Korea's communications watchdog in Tuesday fined Google W212.3 million ($198 million) for illegally collecting personal data without people's consent.

The Korea Communications Commission ordered Google to delete all data collected from October 2009 to May 2010 using its Google Street View vehicles.

In 2011, Google was also fined in 12 countries for illegally gathering personal data. The fine was 145,000 euros in Germany and 100,000 euros in France. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission fined the American tech giant $25,000.

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