Google Fined $15 Million for Infringing Patents Related to Audio Software

Alphabet‘s Google must pay patent holding company Personal Audio LLC $15.1 million (nearly Rs. 120 crore) for infringing two patents related to audio software, a Delaware federal jury said in a verdict made public on Wednesday.

Personal Audio had argued that Google’s music app Google Play Music featured playlist downloading, navigation and editing features that violated its patent rights.

The jury also said that Google infringed the patents willfully, which could lead to a judge increasing the award by up to three times the verdict amount.

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said on Wednesday that the company was disappointed with the verdict and plans to appeal. He said the verdict concerns a “discontinued product” and would not affect customers.

A spokesperson for Personal Audio’s law firm Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth said on Wednesday that the firm was pleased with the verdict.

Beaumont, Texas-based Personal Audio had requested $33.1 million (nearly Rs. 270 crore) in damages, according to a May court filing. It first sued Google in 2015 over the patents in a lawsuit that was later moved from Texas to Delaware.

The Delaware verdict came less than a month after a San Francisco jury ordered Google to pay Sonos $32.5 million (nearly Rs. 265 crore) for patent infringement amid a sprawling intellectual property dispute between the companies over smart-speaker technology.

The case is Personal Audio LLC vs Google LLC, US District Court for the District of Delaware, No. 1:17-cv-01751.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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