19 Apr Local software company takes Google to court over a patent
Madison, Wis. – For the second time in six years, a Madison software company has sued a technology giant, claiming patent infringement.
This time Hyperphrase Technologies has filed suit against Google, Inc., the Internet search engine company, for allegedly using technology that provides viewers of a Web page with links to other sites or advertisements. Hyperphrase claims that Google Toolbar features AutoLink and AdSense have infringed on its patents on data storage and retrieval. Hyperphrase does not appear to have a web site.
William Flachsbart, an attorney with the Chicago intellectual property firm Niro, Scavone, Haller & Niro, said Google was made aware of Hyperphrase’s concern through correspondence, and it is well aware of the patents. Flachsbart is one of the attorneys representing Hyperphrase.
The lawsuit, which cites infringement of four patents, was filed in U.S. District Court in Madison before Judge John Shabaz. It asks for unspecified damages and for Google to stop using the technologies.
Most of these types of suits are settled before a judge makes a final ruling, according to Flachsbart. “That certainly happens,” he said. “I wouldn’t say 90 percent of the time, but I would say it happens the majority of the time.”
Thus far, Google has declined to comment on the suit.
Hyperphrase unsuccessfully sued Microsoft Corp. for allegedly using its intellectual property. The Wisconsin firm, which had sought $2 billion in damages from the software giant, lost the suit in 2003 when District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that its innovation worked differently than the smart tag technology in Microsoft Office XP. In that case, Hyperphrase had alleged the infringement of three patents. It holds 30 patents in all.