Vringo bought Lycos patents on search technology that keys ads to user search queries, then sued Google. At the recently completed trial, Vringo convinced a Virgina jury to award, see page 11 of its Nov. 6 verdict, a reasonable royalty of 3.5% of that portion of Google’s revenue purportedly connected to the stolen technology, which the jury calculated as $15.8 million.
While the verdict (which to-date has not been entered as the court’s final judgment) might look like it satisfies the increasingly strict limitations against using unduly large revenue bases to calculate reasonable royalty damages, this may not be the case.
Vringo’s damage theory is effectively captured in the following trial exhibit:
Vringo introduced Google documents that supported Vringo’s theory that it’s search technology provided a quantifiable increase in revenue:
This approach appears to comply with the rule that patent royalty damages may be assessed against only the smallest portion of overall revenue attributable to the patented technology. Vringo assessed what might be considered a small royalty percentage against only a “smaller” portion ($14 billion) of Google’s overall ad revenue. Yet Vringo was nonetheless able to introduce the OVERALL revenue ($70 billion) to the jury, effectively bringing in entire market value through the back door. See why after the jump.