Google loses Android patent lawsuit, faces claim for US$125 million in damages

A jury found Google guilty of infringing but could not agree on damages, which will be determined in a second jury trial

SimpleAir is seeking US$125M in damages from Google after a jury found that push notification services in Android infringe on a SimpleAir patent, the company said Tuesday.

Google infringed SimpleAir's patent with its Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) services, SimpleAir said in a news release. These services are used by Google to process and send instant notifications for Android applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail, it added.

The jury found all five claims of SimpleAir's 7,035,914 patent on a "system and method for transmission of data" valid and infringed by Google, according to the jury verdict that was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, on Saturday.

The jury however was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the amount of damages to award for Google's infringement, SimpleAir said, adding that a separate jury will decide on the amount in a limited second trial. SimpleAir seeks damages in excess of $125 million.

Google declined to comment on the case but one of Google's attorney's asked for mistrial on all issues, a court document showed.

SimpleAir describes itself as an inventor-owned technology licensing company. The company holds five patents titled "System and method for transmission of data," a search of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records shows.

Its patent portfolio is licensed by several technology companies, including Apple. Apple settled a patent lawsuit with SimpleAir in May 2012 when the companies entered into a confidential license agreement. Earlier in 2012 SimpleAir entered into a similar agreement with Blackberry and in November last year, Microsoft also entered into a confidential settlement and license agreement with the company.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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