In a recent verdict by a federal jury in Waco, Texas, Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., was found guilty of violating the patent rights of software developer Touchstream Technologies, Inc. The court ordered Google to pay a whopping $338.7 million in damages.
Patents on Video Streaming
Touchstream, a New York-based company also operating under the name Shodogg, held patents on technology that allows videos to be transferred from smaller devices such as smartphones to larger screens, such as televisions. According to the 2021 lawsuit, this technology was invented by Touchstream founder David Strober in 2010.
The jury verdict affirmed Touchstream’s allegations that Google’s Chromecast and other devices infringed upon these patents. Touchstream also claimed that the infringement extends to Google’s Home and Nest smart speakers, as well as third-party televisions and speakers with Chromecast capabilities.
A History of Dispute
Touchstream’s grievance with Google dates back to 2011 when the former met with the tech giant to discuss its pioneering technology. Two months after the meeting, Google expressed its disinterest. However, Google introduced its own media-streaming device, Chromecast, in 2013, a move Touchstream perceived as replicating its patented innovations.
In response to the lawsuit, Google denied infringement and maintained that the patents held by Touchstream are invalid. Following the verdict, Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda stated that Google has always developed its technology independently and plans to appeal the ruling.
Touchstream’s Battle with Big Tech
Touchstream’s patent disputes aren’t limited to Google. Earlier this year, the company filed similar complaints against cable providers Comcast, Charter, and Altice in Texas. The proceedings in these cases are still ongoing.
The Battle of Streaming Devices
Google’s Chromecast, launched in 2013, is a streaming device that allows users to broadcast online content from smartphones, tablets, or laptops to televisions via HDMI. As of October 2017, Google had shipped about 55 million Chromecast devices globally. According to a report by Strategy Analytics, Chromecast held a 12% share of the streaming device market in the US in Q1 2020, following Roku with a 39% share and Amazon Fire TV with a 30% share.
The recent patent dispute verdict is a major blow for Google, whose streaming technology is central to many of its products. However, the verdict may be overturned if Google successfully appeals, keeping the door open for the next chapter in this ongoing legal battle.
About Touchstream Technologies, Inc.
Founded in 2010 by David Strober, Touchstream Technologies Inc., operating as Shodogg, is a software company specializing in developing a media platform that enables users to stream content from one device to another. Its innovative approach aims to provide a consistent, cross-platform consumer experience coupled with unmatched audience interaction metrics.
This litigation victory against Google marks a significant milestone in the company’s quest to defend its intellectual property rights, sending a clear message to larger tech companies about the importance of acknowledging and respecting patented innovations in the tech landscape.