A federal jury in Waco, Texas has found that Google violated the patent rights of software developer Touchstream Technologies, and must pay $338.7 million in damages. The jury found that Google's Chromecast and other devices infringe patents owned by Touchstream related to streaming videos from one screen to another.
Touchstream says its founder, David Strober, a former online education designer at SUNY Westchester Community College, came up with the idea of video transmission between different-sized devices in 2010.
The company sued Google in 2021, alleging that the tech giant stole its inventions and violated three of its patents, US Patent Nos. 8,356,251; 8,782,528; and 8,904,289, after rejecting a potential partnership in 2012.
Google launched its own Chromecast technology in 2013 but Touchstream claims Google was infringing its patents with its Home and Nest smart devices and other products that have Chromecast features built-in. A federal jury in Waco, Texas, sided with Touchstream and unanimously found Google guilty of patent infringement.
Google had previously tried to invalidate the three patents at the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board, claiming they were based on obvious prior art, but the board has not yet issued a final decision on their validity. It is expected to do so in September or October. Touchstream welcomed the verdict, while Google said it will appeal.
The tech giant said in a statement that it “always developed technology independently and competed on the merits of our ideas”. Touchstream has also filed similar lawsuits against cable companies Comcast, Charter and Altice in Texas earlier this year. Those cases are still ongoing.
Google's Long History of Paying Fines to Regulators
Google is no stranger to paying out massive fines to regulators. Over the years the company has paid out billions of dollars for its infractions, mostly in Europe. In 2017, the company was forced to pay $2.7 billion for breaching competition laws around its shopping search results.
Last year, Google paid over $4 billion to the European Commission over anti-competitive practices. In 2018, which found Google guilty of unfairly restricting Android OEMs and network operators. At the time, the EC slapped Google with a record €4.34 billion fine.
In November 2022, Google agreed to pay the largest antitrust settlement in US history. The company was made to pay $391.5 million to 40 US states over concerns over its location tracking.