Microsoft Sued By Company That Won Patent Lawsuit Against Google In 2012

Image courtesy

Image courtesy

New York-based Vringo has sued Microsoft over two patents that pertain to the ranking and placement of ads in search results. The patents were originally issued in the early ’90s and owned for a long time by Lycos, which later sold them.

The patents in question are 6,314,420 and 6,775,664, referred to in the complaint (below) as the “420″ and “664″ patents.

They wound up at Vringo, a company that sells video ringtones for mobile phones. The company’s real business however is patent litigation. One of the inventors of the two patents (Andrew Lang) is now CTO and president of Vringo.

Last year, Vringo successfully sued Google, AOL, Gannett, IAC and Target in Virginia state court using the same patents. The jury awarded roughly $30 million against the defendants collectively with Google being asked to pay $15.8 million.

Vringo’s attorneys were originally seeking nearly $700 million in damages. The company also sought ongoing royalty payments against Google. Google fought (or is fighting) the ongoing royalty and has sought re-examination of the two patents in question by the USPTO.

Microsoft is now being sued using the identical patents and theories. (The actual plaintiff in the case is a Vringo subsidiary called I/P engine.) However in a bid to increase the potential value of the case the plaintiff claims that Microsoft’s infringement is willful. That would enable the company to ask for punitive (triple) damages.

Below is a copy of the complaint against Microsoft.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Google: Business Issues | Google: Legal | Legal: Patents | Microsoft: Bing Ads | Microsoft: Business Issues | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Josh

    This makes me sick to my stomach. These patent trolls are ironically enough, always in Law and makes them lower than the worst perverts already laying in hell. I wish nothing but failure and pain on these types of patent trolls.

  • Derek Price

    If you want to get rich fast, move to america and start suing business’s. I may leave my job to start doing this when I need some cash.

  • WoAx-IT

    It is all about the money, and this is only the beginning.

  • Alan

    Google is one of the worlds biggest patent trolls. Do you want them to fail also?

  • Josh


  • Alan

    At least you’re fair.

  • Josh

    Just like a politician.

  • Kevin Brkal

    Full Disclosure : I own shares of VRNG.

    Yes, the patent system in the USA is totally a mess. There should not be software patents plain and simple. The VRNG patents are very broad and far reaching.

    However, in reality the law is the law and Google & Microsoft are infringing on the patents that are owned by Vringo. During the trial the evidence presented said VRNG is owed 3.5% on 20.9% of Google US Adwords revenue. There are post trial motions that are yet to be ruled on with VRNG asking for up to 7% of 20.9% (due to post verdict willful infringement).

    It will be interesting to see what MSFT does here since they are faced with willful infringement which is something Google was not.

  • Christian Orpinell

    I agree. I honestly don’t care if X companies go out of business for losing their ridiculous lawsuits. There are tons of start-ups and honest companies ready to follow right up after their ‘fall’. Way too much litigation is going on.

  • Lillian B. Fleming

    til I looked at the draft which was of $8947, I have faith that my
    brothers friend was truley taking home money in their spare time from
    there computar.. there aunts neighbour had bean doing this for under 16
    months and as of now took care of the debts on their condo and
    purchased themselves a Mazda. I went here, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

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