Google loses in court against SimpleAir over Android Push Notification system patent.
Google’s new year couldn’t start at a worse note than this, as it faces a $125M damages claim over push notification functionality in Android that was filed by a Texan company SimpleAir. This is going to be the first time that Android as a platform has been ruled against in a court of law and not just single handset manufacturers such as Samsung or HTC.
The trial that has lasted just a week and ended on the 18th of January was held in a District East of Texas that is notorious of protecting patent holders going by prior trials that have been won in the same light. Apart from the company being one of their own similarity also comes in the pattern of the case being one against a giant company Google. The patent ‘914 patent’, is used in an essential aspect of the Android experience. According to SimpleAir, Google used this patent in its push notification services without paying licensing fees. In simple terms this Push service allows your Android device to receive instant notifications from Google and other internet services instead of your apps searching for them. This improves on the battery life of your Android device and on the overall processing time.
So you may ask, what does SimpleAir do? Well, the answer is as good as the name itself, its simple. SimpleAir has actually set up office in the Eastern District of Texas making its revenue through patent licensing and being on the lookout for any company that makes use of a technology they (two former staff from AirMedia company-went bankrupt back in 1999) bought from a company called AirMedia. So, in a simple language, SimpleAir does nothing but makes a lot from these patent cases and licences.
SimpleAir previously sued Apple, which settled a suit in May 2012 that had been filed in 2009. It also sued Blackberry, which settled in April 2012.The Apple case was settled out of court. SimpleAir is already suing other Android handset manufacturers including Samsung, Google-owned Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and HTC, as well as Microsoft and Nokia.
Some of the apps to be affected include Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and more. The jury did not agree on how much to award in damages, a limited second trial will be held to determine the amount. SimpleAir said in a press release that it will seek $125m.The method reached to come up with this value however was not disclosed and it’s not final that this is the amount that will be paid out by Google.