Google beats back patent troll, saves $85 million

Where other tech giants have caved in and reached negotiated agreements with a dreaded patent troll over “push notifications,” Google fought, lost big, fought some more and finally won. The prize? Eighty-five million dollars – money an East Texas court had ordered Google to pay.

Google’s victory took place in the U.S. Court of Appeals, where the firm faced off against SimpleAir, a company that exists to file lawsuits over claimed infringements of patents it owns.

SimpleAir describes itself not as a patent troll but as “an inventor-owned technology licensing company with interests and intellectual property in the wireless content delivery, mobile application, and push notification market spaces.”

In this case, SimpleAir alleged that Google’s Cloud Messenger services infringed on a 1996 patent for pushing content onto desktop computers. Current “push notifications” typically involve messages sent from an app to a user’s interface even when the app isn’t running.

From 2008 to 2013, SimpleAir filed lawsuits against Yahoo, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, MySpace and CBS over the notifications, website Ars Technica reported. Those firms settled with the patent troll, and in early proceedings in the Google lawsuit, a SimpleAir expert testified that Microsoft had probably paid $5 million to licence a SimpleAir “push” patent, according to the website.

SimpleAir had sued Google in District of East Texas federal court, a jurisdiction notoriously friendly to patent trolls. In 2014, SimpleAir was awarded $85 million from Google. But Google took the case to federal appeals court, and on April 1, the court ruled that Google did not infringe on SimpleAir’s patent, and threw out the $85 million judgment.


Photo: The Google logo (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)



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  • Kathryn Redman

    When I looked at the draft of 6768 dollars, I have faith that brother of my friend was like really generating cash in his free time with his PC..cnl His aunt’s neighbor has done this for only 8 months and by now repaid the loan on their home and bought a new Car.

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  • ‘dreaded patent troll’

    So say large multinational invention thieves and their paid puppets. Don’t fall for their Chinese style propaganda.

    patent system now teeters on the brink of lawlessness. Call it what you
    will…patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, shell
    company, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and
    we’re not going to stop or pay”. It’s a pure red herring by large
    invention thieves and their paid puppets to kill any inventor support
    system. Their goal is to legalize theft. For the last several years now
    they have been ransacking and looting small entities taking everything
    they can carry. The fact is, many of the large multinationals and their
    puppets who defame inventors in this way themselves make no products in
    the US or create any American jobs and it is their continued blatant
    theft which makes it impossible for the true creators to do so.
    Invention thieves well know many inventors lack the resources to enforce
    their patent rights so their only recourse is to sell to or partner
    with others who do have the resources. Otherwise, large invention
    thieves just thumb their noses at you and steal at will. To infringers
    the only patents that are legitimate are their own -if they have any.
    Meanwhile, the huge multinationals ship more and more American’s jobs

    For our position and the changes we advocate to truly reform the patent system, or to join our effort, please visit us at
    or, contact us at

  • Bopper

    It’s not that the patent system can’t use some reform but to suggest there are no patent trolls, that every claim against a large multi-national for violating a patent is justified, is simplistic nonsense.