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Jury Orders Google to Pay $339 Million to Chromecast for Patent Infringement

Jury Orders Google to Pay $339 Million to Chromecast for Patent Infringement


Enlarge / Google Chromecast with Google TV.


A jury in the West District of Texas ruled Friday that Google Chromecast should pay $338.7 million in damages for infringing three patents from Touchstream Technologies, Inc., Law360 reports.

verdict [PDF] indicates that the jury agreed with Touchstream’s allegations that Google infringed Patents 8,356,251, 8,782,528, and 8,904,289 (Touchstream Technologies Inc. v. Google LLC, Case No. 6:21-cv-00569, United States District Court for the Western District of Texas).

The ruling comes after Touchstream filed a complaint in June 2021, had an interview with Google in December 2011, and was told in February 2012 that it was not interested in working with Google. Google then launched the Chromecast in 2013. The complaint alleges that the original Chromecast, 2nd and 3rd generation Chromecast Ultra, Chromecast with Google TV, and other Chromecast-integrated products infringe the Touchstream patent.

According to the complaint, Touchstream founder David Strober recognized “in the middle of 2010” the need for the ability to move video from a small screen, such as a smartphone display, to a larger screen, such as a television or monitor. The complaint alleges that Strover eventually attempted to use a device such as a smartphone to “make the video playable on a second screen even if the video was located elsewhere (such as on the public internet),” adding that Strover created a “working prototype” by the end of 2010 and filed the first patent application by April 2011.

All three of the Touchstream patents at issue are titled “Playback Control of Content on a Display Device,” and detail a “system for displaying and controlling content on a display device” using “a network, a server system coupled to the network and including one or more servers, a display device coupled to the network and having a display, and a personal computing device operable to send a first message to the server system according to a specified format over the network.”


The patent abstract continues: “The server system stores an association between the personal computing device and the display device. The first message identifies the content selected by the user and the media player that will play that content. It is operable to get 1’s media player and load the content.The media player is used to display the content on the display.”

Google denied Touchstream’s patent infringement, arguing that the patent was invalid on the basis of the obviousness doctrine, which states that inventions revealed to the general public by prior inventions cannot be patented.

As Law360 noted, Google said in its court filing that the patent in question is “rarely basic and doesn’t cover all ways to select content on your personal device and watch it on another screen.”

Google also reportedly argued that Chromecast differs from the technology in Touchstream’s patent because Chromecast uses a server system and a display device, while Touchstream’s patent details separate entities for the server system and the display.

Google also argues that Touchstream is merely a licensing entity with no products or customers, and therefore asks the court not to ban Chromecast sales. As cited by Law360, Google said Touchstream’s “sole business is to seek to monetize patents. If Touchstream receives damages, its sole business purpose has been achieved.”


Google declined further comment to Ars Technica for a statement about what the law means for Chromecast products.

Google to appeal

Google spokesperson Jos Castaeda said in a statement to Ars:

We strongly disagree with the judgment and plan to appeal. We have always developed our own technology and competed on the merits of our ideas, and we will continue to defend ourselves against these meritless claims.

Law360 points out that Google has contested the validity of three Touchstream patents before the Patent Trial and Appeals Board, and a decision is expected by October.

Ars contacted Touchstream’s attorneys at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP about this matter and Google’s claim that Touchstream’s sole interest was in the patent. Ryan Dykal, an IP partner working on the case, said:

Touchstream filed for patent protection and spent a year developing the technology before meeting with Google under the guise of an NDA.Court records show Google secretly began development within weeks of the meeting, despite protection from an NDA and patent application [its] Violation of casting technology. Often sold below cost after Google flooded the market with his 140 million infringing devices, Touchstream continued to build its business from his 2017 until he was forced to enforce his rights. Presented with all the facts, the jury concluded that Touchstream’s patent was valid and that Google had been infringed.

Google declined to comment on Touchstream’s statement.

Law360 noted that Touchstream has also filed patent infringement lawsuits against Altice, Charter and Comcast. Touchstream alleges that its apps and set-top box technology infringe similar patents, including the aforementioned 8,356,251 patents that Touchstream accused Google of infringing.




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