[Warning label — I am not a lawyer and have no specific information about this case. In fact I’m really not qualified to write about it. But that seems to stop nobody these days. I also don’t have any positions in any of the stocks mentioned here.]
The awaited results of the Vringo “Markman” hearing rippled through the market in the last day or so as Vringo stock ($VRNG) started to rise again. Since this is such a high stakes soap opera I decided to take a little time to go through the courts “Memorandum Opinion and Order” which was filed with the SEC by the company. It’s already said that the result was a win for Vringo with a score of 4–2 but I wanted to know more.
First of all some bad news for followers of this saga — the 23 page document is concerned with the meanings of terms and the construction of claims. That means that it’s a long and nuanced discussion of what specific terms like “a scanning system” actually mean down to minutia is scanning through information or merely scanning across a network. My summary and analysis follows but if you really want to get the full effect you should read the full document.
So what’s with deal with “terms?” As you’ll see in the analysis the legal definition of what terms mean can play a pivotal role in determining whether or not there is actually infringement. For example let’s say I patented step-by-step instructions with a specific order to whiten teeth. If someone used these instructions but in a different order I would have a hard time asserting infringement since my patent covers a specific order. It’s not black and white but you get the idea.
There were four undisputed terms included “informon” (a unit of information), “user” (thank goodness!), “relevance to the query” (how well the information satisfies) and “query” (request for search results.)
There were six disputed terms:
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If you haven’t seen it the original match to the flame came on March 31st with this post by James Altucher on TechCrunch: Why Google Might Be Going to $0
There are more links to this so please share in comments if you have them and they will be added.