Google recently lost an infringement lawsuit regarding a patent that most people wouldn’t think of as being intellectual property: a filtering technology that generates online advertising based on search terms.
Vringo, Inc. was awarded over $30 million for Google and four co-defendants’ – AOL Inc., IAC/InterActiveCorp, Target Corporation and Gannett Co Inc. – infringements on their patent since September 2011. The jury also ruled that Google must pay Vringo for future infringements until the patent runs out in 2016. According to Vringo’s lead counsel, Jeffery Sherwood, these future royalties could net Vringo $25-30 million per fiscal quarter.
Intellectual property is any creation of the mind, including the algorithms that filter advertising in this case.
If you have an idea or invention, it is a good idea to register it through a copyright, trademark, or one of the other versions of intellectual property protection because an infringement lawsuit cannot be filed unless the intellectual property is registered.
If you have an existing copyright, trademark, etc. that is being infringed upon, you have the right to sue the offending party and receive royalties. (It may not be $30 million, but you will still be paid for your work.)
Whether you are trying to register your intellectual property or trying to protect it through and infringement lawsuit, it is important to find a good intellectual property lawyer to provide expert guidance every step of the way.