Home > Judicial Development > Patent

Google hit with $12 mln jury verdict in Google Voice patent case

Post Time:2024-02-28 Source:Reuters Author:Blake Brittain Views:

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Alphabet's (GOOGL.O), Google should pay $12 million in damages for infringing five internet voice-calling patents owned by app maker Flyp, a federal jury in Waco, Texas, said late Monday.

The jury agreed with Flyp, that Google Voice, which allows users to send and receive telephone calls through the internet, violates Flyp's patent rights in technology used in its own smartphone application.

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said the company plans to appeal the verdict.

"As we argued in court, Google Voice was developed independently before Flyp's patents were even an idea," Castaneda said.

Flyp attorney Tom Melsheimer of Winston & Strawn said on Tuesday that the company was "gratified that the jury saw through Google’s defenses and found that Flyp, not Google, was the first to create this breakthrough telecommunications technology."

Flyp, whose app allows multiple phone numbers to connect to a single smartphone, sued Google in 2022. It said that Google's "rampant infringement" prevents it from competing in the cloud-based telephone service market, which has grown substantially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of remote work.

The lawsuit said that Flyp representatives met with Google's venture capital fund Google Ventures in 2015 about a potential funding deal and discussed Flyp's now-patented technology. Flyp said that Google incorporated its technology into Google Voice just over a year later.

Google launched Google Voice in 2009. The tech giant has denied Flyp's allegations and argued that its patents are invalid. It also said there was no evidence that anyone from Google Ventures passed its information to Google Voice developer Google Inc (now called Google LLC), which is a separate entity.