Google hit with $15 million verdict in US trial over audio patents

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(Reuters) – Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Google must pay patent holding company Personal Audio LLC $15.1 million for infringing two patents related to audio software, a Delaware federal jury said in a verdict made public on Wednesday.

Personal Audio had argued that Google’s music app Google Play Music featured playlist downloading, navigation and editing features that violated its patent rights.

The jury also said that Google infringed the patents willfully, which could lead to a judge increasing the award by up to three times the verdict amount.

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said on Wednesday that the company was disappointed with the verdict and plans to appeal. He said the verdict concerns a “discontinued product” and would not affect customers.

Attorneys for Personal Audio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Beaumont, Texas-based Personal Audio had requested $33.1 million in damages, according to a May court filing. It first sued Google in 2015 over the patents in a lawsuit that was later moved from Texas to Delaware.

The Delaware verdict came less than a month after a San Francisco jury ordered Google to pay Sonos (NASDAQ:SONO) $32.5 million for patent infringement amid a sprawling intellectual property dispute between the companies over smart-speaker technology.

The case is Personal Audio LLC v. Google LLC, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, No. 1:17-cv-01751.

For Personal Audio: Steve Hanle, Doug Hahn and Salil Bali of Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

For Google: Melissa Baily, Jeff Nardinelli, David Perlson, Antonio Sistos and Patrick Stafford of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

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US jury says Google owes Sonos $32.5 million in smart-speaker patent case