Monday, March 22, 2010

Google AdWords Do Not Infringe Patent Requiring "Price-Determining Activity"

Defendants Google Inc. and AOL LLC were entitled to summary judgment of noninfringement as to the asserted patent claiming "methods of doing business over the Internet 'wherein various forms of competition and/or entertainment are used to determine transaction prices between buyers and sellers'" because the accused services (Google's AdWords and the AOL Search Marketplace) "do not have a 'price-determining activity' as that term is used in the [patent-in-suit]." "AdWords is not at all akin to a buyer correctly answering baseball trivia in order to obtain a lower price on a separate pre-existing baseball card. Instead, the submission in this case actually becomes a part of the product by taking its place in the ad space. . . . In other words, the buyer’s performance in AdWords not only affects the price, it affects, and in a sense actually becomes part of, the product."

Performance Pricing, Inc. v. Google Inc. et al., 2-07-cv-00432 (TXED March 18, 2010, Order) (Rader, CJ.)

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