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Google ordered to pay $339M for stealing the very idea of Chromecast
- A US District Court has ruled that Google violated three Touchstream Technologies patents relating to “presenting and controlling content on a display device.”
- Consequently, Google will have to pay $338.7 million in damages for this patent infringement.
- Google says it will appeal the decision.
Chromecast has been one of those smaller hardware products that have brought about a meaningful experience upgrade. The first Chromecast solved the pain point of clunky TV software interfaces, making it easier to locate content on your handy smartphone and then play it on your big-screen TV. However, a Court in the US has ruled that Google has infringed upon patents with its Chromecast products and that it should pay $338.7 million in damages because of it.
A Western District of Texas jury has ruled that Google has violated three patents held by a company called Touchstream Technologies, as reported by ArsTechnica. The complaint points to several Chromecast products, including the Chromecast Ultra, the Chromecast with Google TV, and other Chromecast-integrated products.
The first patent application in this complaint was filed in April 2011. The three patents relate to “a system for presenting and controlling content on a display device.”
Further, the complaint claims that Touchstream met with Google in December 2011 but was told that the tech giant wasn’t interested in partnering with it in February 2012. For reference, the first generation Google Chromecast was released in 2013. The latest Chromecast with Google TV (HD) was launched in September 2022, while the 4K variant was launched earlier in September 2020.
Google opposed the complaint, arguing that the patents are “hardly foundational and do not cover every method of selecting content on a personal device and watching it on another screen.” Further, the Chromecast is said to differ in technologies detailed in Touchstream’s patents.
The jury agreed with Touchstream’s allegations and ordered the company to pay $338.7 million in damages for its patent violations.
Google intends to appeal this decision, as mentioned by their spokesperson in their statement to ArsTechnica.
We strongly disagree with the verdict and will appeal. We have always developed technology independently and competed on the merits of our ideas, and will continue to defend ourselves against these meritless claims.
Google is also challenging the validity of the three Touchstream patents.
It remains to be seen how the entire situation plays out. Google had asked the Court not to ban sales of Chromecast as Touchstream is said to only be a licensing entity with no products or customers. To that end, the Court did not pass any orders to stop the sales of Chromecast.