Federal Circuit Frees Google from Infringement Verdict in SimpleAir Suit
The Federal Circuit has overturned an $85M infringement verdict against Google, ruling that improper claim construction led to a Texas jury’s January 2014 finding that the tech company infringed a single cloud messaging patent (7,035,914) asserted against it by SimpleAir, Inc. (15-1251, 15-1253). In a precedential opinion issued on April 1, 2016, the court ruled that District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap erred in his construction of two key claim terms, holding that “no reasonable jury could find infringement under the correct constructions” and remanding for entry of a judgment of non-infringement. The court also upheld the jury’s decision that the ‘914 patent was not invalid for indefiniteness. Texas-based SimpleAir, which characterizes itself as an inventor-owned technology licensing company, first began filing litigation in 2006 in what remains its only campaign to date. This victory is Google’s second against SimpleAir, following an October 2015 jury verdict of non-infringement in a different case (2:14-cv-00011) involving a related patent (8,572,279).