Mikele Bicolli
Feb 29, 2024

Google Faces $12 Million Jury Verdict in Google Voice Patent Dispute

Patent Litigation

Google found itself in the crosshairs of a legal battle as this Monday, a federal jury in Waco, Texas, delivered a $12 million verdict against them for infringing on five internet voice-calling patents owned by app maker Flyp. The dispute, which unfolded in a federal courtroom, revolved around Google's popular Google Voice service, a platform allowing users to make and receive telephone calls over the internet. 

Flyp, a company specializing in a smartphone application that enables multiple phone numbers to connect to a single device, initiated legal action against Google in 2022. The lawsuit accused Google of engaging in "rampant infringement," hindering Flyp's ability to compete in the burgeoning cloud-based telephone service market, particularly amidst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge in remote work arrangements. Flyp also alleged that discussions with Google Ventures in 2015 about a potential funding deal led to the unauthorized adoption of its technology by Google. The jury sided with Flyp, concurring that Google's implementation of the patented technology infringed on Flyp's innovation.

In response to the verdict, Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda expressed the company's intent to appeal, asserting that Google Voice was independently developed before Flyp's patents came into existence. Despite Google's stance, the jury's decision signals a significant setback for the tech giant in its legal skirmish with Flyp. 

The legal battle underscores broader tensions within the tech industry surrounding intellectual property rights and competition. While Google vehemently denied Flyp's allegations and argued the invalidity of Flyp's patents, the jury's verdict underscores the complexities and risks inherent in navigating intellectual property disputes in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

Flypsi is represented by Thomas M. Melsheimer, M. Brett Johnson, Michael A. Bittner, C. Charles Liu, Steven R. Laxton, Marisa Thompson, John K. Myers, Matthew R. McCullough, William M. Logan and Evan D. Lewis of Winston & Strawn LLP. 

A version of this article was initially published by Reuters.