Live and die by the patent. That’s typically the fate of today’s intellectual property firms, with Vringo feeling the sting.
The NY-based firm has 500-plus patents and applications that covers internet search, handheld technologies, and telecom structure. Vringo profits by licensing patents to other firms or bringing them to court if they can’t get along.
Vringo filed a suit against Google and other companies, claiming they’ve infringed on patents coverings methods of filtering search results of the internet to making them relevant. While a jury agreed, the U.S. of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the decision.
Shares of Vringo plummeted to 88 cents last week, bringing the firm’s market value under $100 million.
Attorneys from Google argued in I/P Engine’s invention case was obvious since it mixed information-filter methods that were already popular. The court of appeals agreed.
The win may be small but it’s a welcome boost for Google and other firms looking to restrict powers of patent-enforcing companies by making patent reform laws.