According to a federal judge in Waco, Texas, search giant Google has been found guilty of violating the patent rights of a software developer with its remote-streaming technology. As a result, Google has been ordered to pay $338.7 million in damages. The ruling was passed on Friday, July 21. The jury determined that Google’s Chromecast and other devices infringed patents owned by Touchstream Technologies, which are related to streaming videos from one screen to another, as confirmed by a court representative.
On Monday, Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said that the company will appeal the verdict and has “always developed technology independently and competed on the merits of our ideas.”
Reuters reported that Attorneys for New York-based Touchstream didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Touchstream, which also does business as Shodogg, said in its 2021 lawsuit that founder David Strober invented the technology in 2010 to “move” videos from a small device like a smartphone to a larger device like a television.
According to that complaint, Google met with Touchstream about its technology in December 2011 but it said after two months that it was not interested. Google launched Chromecast media-streaming devices in 2013.
Touchstream said that Google’s Chromecast copied its innovations and infringed three of its patents. It also said its patents were infringed by Google’s Home and Nest smart speakers and third-party televisions and speakers with Chromecast capabilities.
Google has denied infringing Touchstream’s rights and has argued that the patents are invalid.
Touchstream filed similar complaints against cable providers Comcast, Charter and Altice in Texas earlier this year. Those cases are still pending.
Google’s AI push
Going big on artificial intelligence tools to assist journalists, Google said last week that it was in talks with news organisations to use the tools. The spokespersons for Google did not give the names of the publishers. However, The New York Times reported that Google had held discussions with it along with Washington Post, News Corp and others.
These AI tools could assist journalists with options for headlines or different writing styles, for instance, in a way that “enhances their work and productivity,” the Google spokesperson said, adding it was in the “earliest stages of exploring ideas”.
“Quite simply these tools are not intended to, and cannot, replace the essential role journalists have in reporting, creating, and fact-checking their articles,” the spokesperson said.
However, the NYT said that some executives who saw Google’s pitch described it as unsettling. The report added that the executives asked not to be identified. The AI tool that was pitched is reportedly called Genesis.