Google loses Chromecast patent dispute, must pay $338 million

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Google has been found guilty of infringing on streaming video patents in its Chromecast devices for the last decade, but at $338.7 million, the financial penalty is relatively minor for the tech giant.

Google owes money in Chromecast patent case
Google owes money in Chromecast patent case



The infringement pertains to Google's remote-streaming technology prominently used in its Chromecast devices. The jury's decision, announced on July 21, mandates that Alphabet's Google compensate the aggrieved software developer with a sum of $338.7 million, according to a report from Reuters.

On Monday, a court spokesperson stated that the jury determined Google's Chromecast and several other devices violated patents held by Touchstream Technologies, specifically those concerning video streaming from one display to another. Google's representative, Jose Castaneda, said the company "always developed technology independently and competed on the merits of our ideas."

In a 2021 lawsuit, Touchstream, also known as Shodogg, said its founder David Strober invented technology back in 2010 for videos. It allowed for video transfers from compact devices, such as smartphones, to bigger screens like televisions.

The complaint says that Google discussed its technology with Touchstream in December 2011. However, by February 2012, Google expressed disinterest.

Subsequently, in 2013, Google launched its Chromecast media-streaming devices.

Touchstream claimed that Google's Chromecast replicated its technological advancements and violated three patents. The company further stated that Google's Home and Nest smart speakers and third-party TVs and speakers equipped with Chromecast features also infringed upon their patents.

In response, Google refuted any violation of Touchstream's intellectual property and contended that the patents are invalid.

The case underscores the ongoing challenges tech companies face in navigating the intricate web of patent rights and intellectual property in the rapidly evolving tech landscape. Chromecast, a popular product from Google's lineup, allows users to stream content from their devices to their televisions.

Castaneda said that Google plans to appeal the verdict.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    mayflymayfly Posts: 385member
    Nothing breeds lawsuits like someone stealing intellectual property and making a crapload of money with it!
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,273member
    mayfly said:
    Nothing breeds lawsuits like someone stealing intellectual property and making a crapload of money with it!
    I have no idea how software lawsuits work, but do they have to reveal source code to each other for comparison as part of discovery?
    mayflywatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,128member
    hexclock said:
    mayfly said:
    Nothing breeds lawsuits like someone stealing intellectual property and making a crapload of money with it!
    I have no idea how software lawsuits work, but do they have to reveal source code to each other for comparison as part of discovery?
    No, that would likely be more of a copyright requirement.

    Patents tend to more conceptual so the precise code isn't as relevant.

    It's too bad the Reuters report didn't list the actual patent numbers. Ars Technica dug into it a bit deeper:
    "The verdict [PDF] shows the jury agreeing with Touchstream's allegations that Google violated patents 8,356,2518,782,528, and 8,904,289 (Touchstream Technologies Inc. v. Google LLC, case number 6:21-cv-00569 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas)."
    edited July 2023 hexclockFileMakerFellerStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    mayflymayfly Posts: 385member
    hexclock said:
    mayfly said:
    Nothing breeds lawsuits like someone stealing intellectual property and making a crapload of money with it!
    I have no idea how software lawsuits work, but do they have to reveal source code to each other for comparison as part of discovery?
    Even if the source code were to be included in discovery, the lawyers, judge and jury (if not a bench trial) would likely not be able to understand it. It's based on the look and feel of the software from a user viewpoint.
    hexclockwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,273member
    mayfly said:
    hexclock said:
    mayfly said:
    Nothing breeds lawsuits like someone stealing intellectual property and making a crapload of money with it!
    I have no idea how software lawsuits work, but do they have to reveal source code to each other for comparison as part of discovery?
    Even if the source code were to be included in discovery, the lawyers, judge and jury (if not a bench trial) would likely not be able to understand it. It's based on the look and feel of the software from a user viewpoint.
    They could just parade a bunch of 15 year old kids up there to explain it to them.  
    mayfly
  • Reply 6 of 7
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,933member
    hexclock said:
    mayfly said:
    Nothing breeds lawsuits like someone stealing intellectual property and making a crapload of money with it!
    I have no idea how software lawsuits work, but do they have to reveal source code to each other for comparison as part of discovery?
    No, because if so it would show the code is unique. These software patents are almost always more abstract and generalized ideas, which is why software patents are bogus and a Really Bad Idea (tm). Code is written speech and is already protected by copyright, so patents are simply not appropriate for software. 
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,965member
    Seems like a classic case of a company ‘not being interested’ in paying the developer but taking their ideas and running with them. Glad Google lost. 
    FileMakerFeller
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