The courts just can’t cut Google a break. Earlier this week, the federal judge overseeing legal negations between Samsung and Apple ruled that a core feature of Android infringed on an Apple patent, and now a court for the Eastern District of Texas has allowed company SimpleAir to seek up to $125 million in damages from Google for patent infringement.
Judge Rodney Gilstrap, a noted supporter of “inventor-owned technology licensing company[ies]” like SimpleAir – firms that don’t produce technology but instead seek fees from infringing businesses and individuals – found that Google’s Cloud Messaging (GCM) and its deprecated predecessor infringe on patent 7,035,914.
GCM is a messaging system app developers can use to synchronize messages across multiple devices. It’s also commonly used to improve battery life by saving devices from having to check for new messages.
It’s disheartening to see companies like SimpleAir relentlessly litigate without penalty, but help could be on the way in the form of Congressional legislation: a promising bill designed to limit abuse of the court system by so-called patent trolls passed the House last December.
Hopefully, relief will come sooner rather than later.