GOOGLE HAS WON $1.3m in legal fees from a notorious patent troll.
Arstechnica first reported the rather convoluted story, which began in 2011 when well-known software patent litigator Beneficial Innovations sued a dozen large media companies over online ad patents that it holds.
Many of the online publications owned by those media companies were simply using Google's Doubleclick advertising technology, and Google had licensed the patents at issue.
"Beneficial went back on the terms of its own licence agreement, pursuing our customers for simply using our licensed services," said Google at the time.
Google interceded on behalf of its customers and prevailed in a jury trial in January, arguing successfully that Beneficial was in breach of contract by suing over patents that Google had licensed. Google won a nominal $1 judgment plus an injunction barring Beneficial Innovations from suing additional Google customers.
Now, the court has awarded Google the right to recover from Beneficial most of its legal costs for defending its customers, according to Arstechnica. US District Court judge Rodney Gilstrap ruled that Google was the prevailing party on the breach of contract issue and that the firm's request to recover attorneys' fees was reasonable.
Judge Gilstrap therefore ordered Beneficial Innovations to pay Google more than $1.3m in attorneys' fees, though he declined to grant a little more than $100,000 in expert witness fees.
$1.3m (£785,000 at the current exchange rates) isn't a lot of money to a giant like Google, of course, but the award of attorneys' fees is a warning sign to all those patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas. µ