Priceplay Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google. The patent infringement lawsuit concerns two specific Priceplay patents. The company alleges that Google's Cost-Per-Click" bidding and "Quality Score"/"Ad Rank" systems relating to "AdWords" infringe upon their intellectual property.
Priceplay, Inc., is suing Google for infringing their US patent number 8,050,982 entitled "Systems and Methods for Transacting Business over a Global Communications Network such as the Internet."
The Factual Background
The "Factual Background" of Priceplay's formal complaint before the court states the following: "In the mid-1990's commerce over the Internet, or "e-commerce," was in its early stages. Many merchants had begun expanding into e-commerce hoping to attract some of the seemingly endless source of potential buyers. In fact, many new businesses offered their products and services solely via e-commerce. Some e-commerce merchants provided traditional transaction methods: the seller would offer a specified product at a specified price, and the buyer would "buy" the product by performing a required set of tasks acknowledging the formation of a binding buy-sell contract. This occurred, for instance, at Amazon.com which began as an on-line book seller, but later expanded into other fields such as music and videos.
Various e-commerce business models afforded certain advantages and disadvantages, but they all had the common goal of attracting as many customers as possible, ultimately to lead to more transactions and hence more profit for the companies employing the models. As such, they all focused in one way or another on factors typically considered important by potential buyers— namely price and convenience.
Ultimately, Wayne Lin, the inventor of the Asserted Patents, discovered that e- commerce merchants could engage in controlled interaction with potential buyers via an Internet website; specifically, such potential buyers could be attracted if they were allowed to engage in an interactive competitive/entertaining collateral price-determining activity ("competitive activity") which determines the price of the product or service to be secured, depending on the buyer's performance in the competitive activity.
Wayne Lin also discovered that potential buyers could also be attracted if they were allowed to engage in an interactive bidding auction in combination with the interactive competitive activity.
Wayne Lin's inventions were disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 6,978,253 ("the '253 patent"), which has been cited by the USPTO in eight later patents (applicants include International Business Machines Corporation, Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution, Inc., and Onforce, Inc.) and one currently pending application.
Various embodiments of Wayne Lin's inventions have been adopted by numerous e-commerce leaders since their disclosure in the '253 patent.
Priceplay practices the inventions claimed in the '982 and '917 patents. Four Priceplay researchers continuously test and refine the systems and methods claimed in those patents to improve e-commerce, both for merchants and customers.
Priceplay itself practices specific embodiments of the claimed invention. Priceplay develops software systems allowing any e-commerce company to provide an interactive pricing system, specifically, systems in which the price of a product or a service can be lowered based on a buyer's action in a particular activity. An example of such system can be seen on www.priceplay.com.
Google infringes the inventions claimed in the '982 and '917 patents, at least through its "Cost-Per-Click" ("CP") bidding and "Quality Score"/"Ad Rank" competition in its "AdWords" by selling ad space to e-commerce merchants via a system and a method which combine an interactive bidding and an interactive competitive activity."
Infringement of patent '982: Count 1 (In-Part)
In Priceplay's formal complaint before the court they state that "Google has infringed and continues to infringe at least claims 1 and 7 of the '982 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a), either literally or under the Doctrine of Equivalents, by operating an interactive e-commerce system or performing an interactive e-commerce process within the United States that is covered by the claims of the of the '982 patent.
Google has had knowledge and notice of the '982 patent, as well as of its own infringement of the '982 patent, since at least M arch 26, 2014 by virtue of the present Complaint.
Priceplay has been and continues to be damaged by Google's infringement of the '982 patent. On information and belief, a reasonable royalty for infringement of the '982 patent would be at least 10% of Google's ad revenue resulting from its infringing activities.
Google's infringement of the '982 patent has been and continues to be willful."
Infringement of patent '917: Count 2 (In-Part)
In Count 2 of Priceplay's formal complaint before the court they state in-part that "Google has infringed and continues to infringe at least claims 1, 7 and 13 of the 8,494,917 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a), either literally or under the Doctrine of Equivalents, by operating an interactive e-commerce system or performing an interactive e-commerce method within the United States that is covered by the claims of the of the '917 patent.
Google has had knowledge and notice of the '917 patent, as well as of its own infringement of the '917 patent, since at least M arch 26, 2014 by virtue of the present Complaint.
Priceplay has been and continues to be damaged by Google's infringement of the '917 patent. On information and belief, a reasonable royalty for infringement of the '917 patent would be at least 10% of Google's ad revenue resulting from to its infringing activities.
Google's infringement of the '917 patent has been and continues to be willful."
By Priceplay using the word "willful" in their prayer for relief before the court, they're legally requesting the court to triple the damages in the case should Google be found guilty of patent infringement.
The patent infringement case presented in today's report was filed in the Delaware District Court, Wilmington Office in New Castle. At present, no Judge has been assigned to the case which was filed last week.
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