Nov 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a decision for Google (GOOGL.O) that overturned a jury's $20 million patent verdict against the tech giant over anti-malware technology in its Chrome web browser.
The high court declined to review a U.S. appeals court's decision that Alfonso Cioffi and Allen Rozman's patents were invalid, ending a decade-long court fight between the inventors and Google.
The inventors' attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Google spokesperson said the company had no comment.
Cioffi and the late Rozman's daughters sued Google in East Texas federal court in 2013, alleging anti-malware functions in Chrome infringed their patents for technology that prevents malware from accessing critical files on a computer.
A jury ruled for the inventors in 2017 and awarded them $20 million in patent-infringement damages plus ongoing royalties, which their attorney said at the time were expected to total nearly $7 million per year for the next nine years.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit invalidated the patents in April, nullifying the verdict. The appeals court said that the three patents, which were reissued from an earlier patent, did not meet the legal requirement of covering subject matter that was disclosed in the original patent.
The inventors said in their Supreme Court petition last month that the decision "erects another barrier for patentees to obtain patent rights on inventions that would otherwise be deemed novel and patentable."
"This is the wrong direction for the U.S. patent system, which has been under siege for decades by big technology companies, such as Respondent, to weaken patents and the patent system for their own benefit," the inventors told the justices.
Google did not respond to the petition.
The case is Cioffi v. Google LLC, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 23-421.