An Attempt to Cancel Patent For Breaking GSM Standard Algorithm

September 27, 2017

GSM logoDr Elad Barkan invented or discovered a cryptology method for breaking GSM coded communications and filed a patent application on 30 April 2003 titled “Cryptanalysis Method and System”, which was awarded Israel Patent No. IL 155671 in June 2005. The method was based on the discovery of a fundamental coding flaw in the GSM protocol which caused quite a stir among both telecommunication experts and the cryptology community.

DiscoveryOn 23 June 2015, Rontal Engineering Applications 2001 Ltd applied to have the patent cancelled on various grounds including that it was a discovery and not an invention; that the supplementary tests of inventiveness were met so that there was no inventive step, and that the patent was never implemented. In a long and detailed decision, Deputy Commissioner Ms Jacqueline Bracha considered the various allegations and ruled on the validity of the patent registration.

After the statements of case and the evidence were submitted, a three-day hearing was scheduled in December 2016, and the parties then submitted written summations.

Complicating matters, during the summation stage, the Opposer, Rontal Engineering Applications 2000 Ltd, filed for bankruptcy. Dr Barkan submitted a request that Rontal Engineering post a bond for 200,000 Shekels, to pay his legal fees should he prevail against them. The Deputy Commissioner agreed with his request and a bond was posted duly on 15 July 2017.

Somewhat unusually, the ruling starts with a list of definitions of various words relating to the GSM protocol. Then the decision goes on to rule if the invention relates to patentable subject matter.  In a 46 page ruling with 165 paragraphs, the Deputy Commissioner found that the invention is patentable per se. Furthermore, the invention described is substantially different to the closest prior art so the patent was upheld.

In my conclusions at the end of this article, I conclude that the Opposers could probably have successfully obtained their real objective by negotiating a claim restriction to exclude brute force attacks which were never intended to be covered by the claims anyway.

A summary of the Decision follows.

Glossary

The patent relates to GSM encryption, and to understand the case, a number of terms need to be defined.

GSM NETWORKGSM is an acronym for Global System for Mobile Communications. It is a standard for cellular phone networks developed in 1987 and available since 1992. The standard was published before the priority date. The standard is a digital telecommunication standard and voice is digitized, transmitted and then converted back into sound. GSM is encrypted to prevent third parties from eavesdropping. The communication takes place via base stations.

Read the rest of this entry »


Linux & Patents: “OPEN INVENTION”

March 14, 2016

Yigal arnon

Yigal Arnon, one of Israel’s leading law firms is hosting a seminar titled

“Linux and Patents, Open Invention”

The conference is being held at their Tel Aviv Offices: Yigal Arnon & Co. Offices, Round Tower, Azrieli Center, 47th Floor – Tel Aviv, on March 23, 2016

The event opens with at 13:30 – 14;00 with a Reception

14:00 – 14:30 Keith Bergelt, Chief Executive Officer, Open Invention Network
“Open Source Software, IP and the Emerging Opportunities of Project-based Innovation”

14:30 – 15:00 Suzanne Erez, IBM, Intellectual Property Counsel
“Open Source from the Industry’s Point of View”

15:00 – 15:15 Break

15:10 – 15:45 Armijn Hemel, Open Invention Network “Open Source Software: Community and Enforcement”

15:45 – 16:15 Ido Sivan Sevilla, Public Policy Doctoral Student, The Hebrew University

“Implications of Open Source Principles for Cybersecurity: The Case of Linux”, Ido is the former Head of Cybersecurity for the Israeli Air Force and the Office of the Prime Minister, and former Legislative Fellow at the United States Congress

16:15 – 16:45 Eli Greenbaum, Partner, Yigal Arnon & Co. “Legal Conflicts with Open Source Software”

16:45 – 17:15 Cocktails

The Open Invention Network will be hosting a dinner at 2C Restaurant immediately following the cocktail reception for those who can join.

Space is limited. Please register here to reserve your spot.


Camtek Invalidates another Orbotech Patent

May 25, 2015

Duck Shoot

IL 131283 titled ” Apparatus and methods for inspection of objects” was filed on 5 August 1999. After its eventual allowance it published for opposition purposes on 8 July 2008. On 7 October 2008 Camtek filed a notice of opposition and on 5 November 2008 they filed their Statement of Case.

Both sides submitted their evidence and on 28 March 2010, the Applicant requested to correct the specification, and submitted amended claims. On 24 May 2010 Camtek announced that they had no objections to the amendments, but reserved the right to raise further issues in the opposition itself. The parties submitted their statements and evidence regarding the amended claims, and, after a hearing back in March 2013, this ruling has now issued.

The patent in question relates to automated optical inspection and the main claim of the patent in question is as follows:

A method for image processing comprising:

generating representations of boundaries of known elements in the image;

identifying candidate defects in the image, in hardware, thereby to generate a hardware candidate defect identifier output including hardware candidate defect identifiers;

receiving the hardware candidate defect identifiers and said representations of boundaries;

generating a window of  interest surrounding at least some of said hardware candidate defect identifiers and said representations of boundaries;

identifying at least one false alarm within said window of interest, in software;

and identifying additional candidate defects in the image, in software.

There are a further 6 dependent claims.

The underlined parts were the result of the amendment during the opposition, which, since it is a narrowing restriction, is procedurally acceptable.

Opposer’s Case

In the Statement of Opposition, Camtek opposed the patent issuing on the basis of Sections 3, 4, 5, 12, 13 and 18 of the Law.

Re Section 3 – Camtek alleged that the patent isn’t directed to a device or process, and at best is an attempt to monopolize a computer process or algorithm per se.

Camtek considers the claimed invention to lack novelty as anticipated separately in three earlier publications:

  1. West at al, ‘The Automatic Visual Inspection of Printed Circuit Boards’ Circuit World Vo. 8 No.2 (1982)
  2. West, ‘A system for the Automatic Visual Inspection of Bare-Printed Circuit Boards’, IEER Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Vol. SMC -14, No.5 (1984)
  3. US 5,619,429; M. Aloni at al, Apr. 8 1997

These publications allegedly render the claimed invention obvious, whether considered separately or in combination.

Camtek further accused Orbotech of inequitable behavior in having not brought the existence of US 5,619,429 (which was assigned to Orbot Instruments) to the attention of the Examiner contrary to the duty of disclosure. Camtek also alleged that the amendments to claim 1 designed to attempt to distinguish the claimed invention from that of 5,619,429 did nothing to rectify the failure of Orbotech to bring this to the Examiner’s attention. Finally, Camtek argued that the claims lacked clarity and were not supported by the specification.

Orbotech’s Position

Orbotech denies all of Camtek’s allegations. According to Orbotech, the claimed invention differs from each of the cited art by including at least one element not described therein. In particular, none of the citations relates the step of:

“Generating a window of interest surrounding at least some of said hardware candidate defect identifiers and said representations of boundaries”

Orbotech did not consider it is required to address the issue of inventive step (obviousness) since Camtek had merely submitted a list of prior art references and had not shown how they can be combined to teach the claimed invention. Similarly, the lack of clarity and support issues were denied and Orbotech noted that they weren’t substantiated in Camtek’s statement of case.

Evidence

Camtek’s position was supported by an affidavit from Dr Shimon Koren, the director of Technology in the Microelectronics Division at Camtek. Koren considered that the claimed invention is a known methodology for image analysis that combines hardware and software stages and a standard way of defining areas of interest. He considers that using software or dedicated hardware was simply a design choice and the claimed elements were the foundation of software engineering in the field, and known to all persons of the art at the priority date. Specifically, any further image processing on a feature of interest requires the preliminary determination of a boundary to the region of interest, whether automated, by hardware or software, or manually, and there was nothing novel and certainly not inventive in this. [I find this argument compelling, as I have written up about a dozen patents for Siemens CAD vision for detecting lung and breast cancer by image analysis of XRay photographs, and everything starts with drawing a line around the field of interest].

Koren does not understand the relevance of “identifying at least one false alarm within said window of interest, in software; and identifying additional candidate defects in the image, in software.” And, as a person of the art, Korens considers that these claimed steps are simply confusing, hence the lack of clarity objection. Koren further expounded on the lack of novelty and inventiveness with respect to the prior art referenced above.

Orbotech submitted an Affidavit of the Director of their Core Technology Algorithm Group, a Dr Rippa, who is a coinventor of the claimed invention.

Dr Rippa stated that the present invention claims a process for identifying and segmenting candidate defects or preselected areas of interest, whereas the prior art merely describes a process for identifying and segmenting candidate defects. Dr Rippa concedes that the hierarchical examinations where each stage filters through candidate defects picked up by the proceeding stage were known to persons of the art. However, the present invention is not necessarily hierarchical in that the areas of interest with their generated boundaries are not necessarily subjected to additional filtering steps. Furthermore, algorithms per se. are not claimed, but rather a process ran on a physical system [so the invention is to be considered as patentable subject matter].

Additionally, Dr Rippa denied the allegations of lack of clarity, claiming that repeated indications provide greater certainty. [I can’t see how this jells with previous statement about the method not necessarily being hierarchical, nor can I see how the wording of the claim supports this interpretation].

Furthermore Dr Rippa also considers that there are significant differences between hardware and software and using hardware where the claimed invention specifies software will be inefficient.

Finally, Dr Rippa related to the cited art and opined that they do not render the claimed invention known or obvious.

The Ruling

Ms Yaara Shoshani Caspi considered that the invention related to the ‘window’ which was not properly described in the application. She found Dr Koren’s explanation convincing, whereas she found Dr Rippa’s explanation incoherent. She also noted that Dr Rippa, as an inventor and witness for the defendant, was more likely to provide misleading testimony. [The ‘defendant’ is the applicant. The issue is an opposition. Both sides have financial interests or the patent would not be opposed. Camtek are not acting out of respect for the integrity of the register].

It seems that during cross-examination, Dr Rippa changed his story, and didn’t seem able to make up his mind whether candidates were segmented or whether also previously defined areas were segmented.

Camtek and their witness, Dr Koren argued that once an area is selected, it requires to be segmented and the window drawing exercise is the same regardless. The point of novelty was, in their opinion, a question of semantics and not  one of substance. The issue is not one of terminology but whether Orbotech was describing something new or not.

It seems that Dr Rippa retracted his original statement and accepted that once a window was drawn, the enclosed space was checked as to whether it fulfilled the criteria of defects or not. Dr Koren argued convincingly that the examination of predetermined windows was for calibration purposes, to help recognize defects. Since Orbotech failed to convincingly argue that hardware was advantageous over software for this purpose, the argument that hardware was chosen specifically was not given any weight. The upshot of the above is that Orbotech was claiming to segment candidate flaws and then to examine them and the adjudicator did not consider this novel or inventive. The additional step  of finding additional candidates was not considered clear and could not, therefore, be used as saving grace. In this regard, the adjudicator noted a dissonance between the claim, the representative figure and the affidavit.

Ms Shoshani-Caspi, did, however, find that the although directed to an algorithm, since the algorithm was for use on a machine having certain functionality, the invention should be considered technological and not software per se or a thought process.

Having defined the invention as segmenting candidate flaws and then examining them, the adjudicator found that each of the publications:

  • West at al, ‘The Automatic Visual Inspection of Printed Circuit Boards’ Circuit World Vo. 8 No.2 (1982)
  • West, ‘A system for the Automatic Visual Inspection of Bare-Printed Circuit Boards’, IEER Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Vol. SMC -14, No.5 (1984)
  •  US 5,619,429; M. Aloni at al, Apr. 8 1997

Separately anticipates  the claimed invention, rendering it known in contradistinction to Section 4 of the Patent Law 1967. Being known, the claimed invention could not be considered inventive in contradistinction to Section 5 of the Patent Law 1967.

That said, the adjudicator did not find the claims unsupported or evidence of inequitable behavior.

Despite the Opposer failing to specify the flaws of the dependent claims, the adjudicator did not find redeeming features in any of these. The patent was found to be invalidated and costs of 15000 Shekels were awarded to Camtek.

Comment

Once again, Camtek, represented by Adv.Adi Levit, has successfully invalidated an Orbotech patent. However, unlike the recent case where Camtek invalidated Orbotech’s IL 179995 patent and the Deputy Commissioner Ms Jacqueline Bracha ruled costs of 296,895 Shekels.as Orbotech forgot to appeal Camtek’s detailed costs submission, the costs awarded in this case were a mere 15000 Shekels which does not seem to be a lot for a case that has been dragging on for 7 years.


Jerusalem Post Publishes Write-Up on Teva System for Better Prescribing

June 16, 2014

drug variability

Former Employee and patent attorney Dr Moshe Treitel sent me a link to an article in the Jerusalem Post that describes a technology that Teva has developed for better diagnosing. See here for more details.

Quoting Judy Itzkovich’s article:

“As the average Israeli 65 years and older now takes seven different medications for chronic illness, the danger of drug conflicts and complications is high.
In this country, adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are responsible for 4.1 percent of all hospital admissions, while it is 5.7% in Germany, 6.5% in Britain and a whopping 12% in Australia.”

The system, developed by Dr Ronni Shiloh, attempts to minimize adverse drug-drug interactions and to correct doses for specific patients by providing the doctor with a simple graphic interface or GUI on a smartphone or tablet, that summarizes a wealth of medical information in a simple and easy to comprehend graphical interface.

Drug interactions are a major cause of complications, particularly in the elderly. This product may save unneccessary hospitalization and expensive testing, to the benefit of patients, health funds and the Health Ministry alike.

 גילוי נאות – Full Disclosure

I drafted the patent application for Teva and am prosecuting it in various jurisdictions. They out-sourced to me, since despite being Israel’s largest IP firm (that’s Teva, not IP Factor!),  their extensive in-house patent capability is mostly pharmaceutical and molecular biology, whereas this is a computer based system.


Finjan Files New Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Sophos

March 16, 2014

finjan logo                                      finjan coffee pot

Finjan, Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Sophos, alleging infringement of Finjan patents relating to endpoint, web, and network security technologies.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that Sophos’ products and services infringe upon six of Finjan’s patents. In the complaint, Finjan is seeking undisclosed damages from Sophos.


Israel Patent Office Clarifies Patentability of Software Patents

March 7, 2014

Remix

Israel Patent Application Number 190125 to Digital Layers is titled “A method, a system and an apparatus for delivering media layers”. It was filed as a PCT application back in August 2006 (PCT/IL2006/000921), claiming priority from a US provisional application. It entered the national phase into Israel on 12 March 2008. On 12 June 2012, the corresponding US patent issued as US 8,199,935. The Applicant then conformed the pending claims in Israel to those that issued in US 8,199,935 and requested modified examination under section 17c. Although it is discretionary on the Examiner, in general the Israel Patent Office is willing to allow a claim set that has been examined and allowed by any of a number of examining patent offices including the USPTO.

Prior to requesting allowance under Section 17c, the examiner had found earlier claim sets lacking in novelty and inventiveness, and had refused the original claims and a first modified set under sections 4 and 5 of the Law. The new claim set was sufficiently different that the Examiner could rely on his US colleague, but there is a caveat. The claims have to be directed to what is considered patentable subject matter in Israel. Under section 7, claims directed to methods of therapeutic treatment are not patentable in Israel. By interpretation, claims directed to methods of doing business and software per se. are not considered patentable subject matter as they are not considered technological.

The main claim of the present invention, as allowed in the US is:

1. A system for facilitating access to multiple audio layer items over a communication network comprising: A network accessible media database, connected to a communication network, which stores multiple audio layer items each having a plurality of separate and different audio layers which are independently accessible; and at least one subscriber application for receiving a user selection of at least some of said multiple audio layer items, connecting to said media database, and receiving at least some of said plurality of audio layers; wherein said at least one subscriber application having a mixing module which digitally synchronizes and mixes said at least some audio layers to create an audio remix representing a mixed digital audio signal.

Other independent claims are:

16. A subscriber application for facilitating access to multiple audio layer items via a communication network, comprising: a port for communication with a media database via a communication network; and an interface configured to allow a user to select a multiple audio layer item from a plurality of multiple audio layer items each having a plurality of separate and different audio layers and to address separately at least some of said plurality of separate and different audio layers of said selected multiple audio layer item; and a mixing module configured for digitally synchronizing and mixing at least some of said plurality of audio layers to create locally, in the memory of a computing unit, a remix representing a mixed digital audio signal.

19. A method of creating a remix locally at a subscriber application by facilitating access to multiple audio layer items for subscribers via communication network, comprising: providing a media database comprising a plurality of multiple audio layer items each having a plurality of separate and different audio layers such that each said audio layer is independently accessible as a separate audio channel; providing at least one subscriber application capable of communicating with said media database; associating at least one of said multiple audio layer items with at least one of said subscriber applications, according to respective subscriber inputs; receiving a selection indicative of said at least some separate and different audio layers of at least one of said multiple audio layer items from a client terminal; and providing independent access and usage to said at least some separate and different audio layers to create a remix representing a mixed digital media signal by digitally mixing and synchronizing said at least some separate and different audio layers.

23. A system for facilitating access to multiple audio layer items over a communication network comprising: a network accessible media database, connected to a communication network, which stores a plurality of multiple audio layer items such that each layer of each said audio layer item is independently accessible; and at least one subscriber application for receiving a user selection of at least one of said multiple audio layer items, connecting to said media database, and receiving said first multiple audio layer item, said at least one subscriber application having a mixing module configured for digitally synchronizing and mixing at least one selected audio layer of said selected multiple audio layer item to create locally an audio remix representing a mixed digital audio signal.”.

The Examiner rejected the claimed invention as being content related and therefore a pure thought process or a business method. In reaching her decision, the Examiner relied on the background of the Application where it is stated:

“In the 1980’s computerization began to appear in professional recording studios. The first efforts were patchwork devices for automating manual console functions, and even today many automated consoles are analog audio consoles with digital equipment adapted to existing devices. During the 1990’s, the computer industry continuously introduced multi-media computers and mixing software, which started to replace the existing, manual, consoles, many of which have audio signal input/output capability together with animated image display capability. Such a multi-media computer generally employs a multi-window display system to display different information simultaneously and independently on different windows resulting from splitting a display screen, and plural icons are usually displayed so that an operator can activate any one of them using a mouse.”

The Commissioner of Patents ruled that the system is tied to physical equipment and requires physical equipment but is not merely automation of something known. It cannot fairly be considered software per se. a thought process or trivial computerization of something known. He quoted extensive European case law to show that this type of invention is patentable in Europe, and held that by analogy it was patentable here.

The claims as allowed in the US were allowed to publish for opposition purposes in Israel.He allowed the patent to publish for opposition purposes.

COMMENT

The patent has been allowed under section 17c. This does not imply an independent assessment of novelty or inventiveness. Merely, that the subject matter is not to be considered a mere thought process or software per se. It is still not clear what type of claims will be considered patentable, but it does appear that what is considered patentable in Europe will probably be considered patentable in Israel.

Israel Patent Application Number 190125 to Digital Layers is titled “A method, a system and an apparatus for delivering media layers”. It was filed as a PCT application back in August 2006 (PCT/IL2006/000921), claiming priority from a US provisional application. It entered the national phase into Israel on 12 March 2008.

On 12 June 2012, the corresponding US patent issued as US 8,199,935. The Applicant then conformed the pending claims in Israel to those that issued in US 8,199,935 and requested modified examination under section 17c.

Although it is discretionary on the Examiner, in general the Israel Patent Office is willing to allow a claim set that has been examined and allowed by any of a number of examining patent offices including the USPTO.

Prior to requesting allowance under Section 17c, the examiner had found earlier claim sets lacking in novelty and inventiveness, and had refused the original claims and a first modified set under sections 4 and 5 of the Law.

The new claim set was sufficiently different that the Examiner could rely on his US colleague, but there is a caveat. The claims have to be directed to what is considered patentable subject matter in Israel. Under section 7, claims directed to methods of therapeutic treatment are not patentable in Israel. By interpretation, claims directed to methods of doing business and software per se. are not considered patentable subject matter as they are not considered technological.

The main claim of the present invention, as allowed in the US is:

1. A system for facilitating access to multiple audio layer items over a communication network comprising: A network accessible media database, connected to a communication network, which stores multiple audio layer items each having a plurality of separate and different audio layers which are independently accessible; and at least one subscriber application for receiving a user selection of at least some of said multiple audio layer items, connecting to said media database, and receiving at least some of said plurality of audio layers; wherein said at least one subscriber application having a mixing module which digitally synchronizes and mixes said at least some audio layers to create an audio remix representing a mixed digital audio signal.

Other independent claims are:

16. A subscriber application for facilitating access to multiple audio layer items via a communication network, comprising: a port for communication with a media database via a communication network; and an interface configured to allow a user to select a multiple audio layer item from a plurality of multiple audio layer items each having a plurality of separate and different audio layers and to address separately at least some of said plurality of separate and different audio layers of said selected multiple audio layer item; and a mixing module configured for digitally synchronizing and mixing at least some of said plurality of audio layers to create locally, in the memory of a computing unit, a remix representing a mixed digital audio signal.

19. A method of creating a remix locally at a subscriber application by facilitating access to multiple audio layer items for subscribers via communication network, comprising: providing a media database comprising a plurality of multiple audio layer items each having a plurality of separate and different audio layers such that each said audio layer is independently accessible as a separate audio channel; providing at least one subscriber application capable of communicating with said media database; associating at least one of said multiple audio layer items with at least one of said subscriber applications, according to respective subscriber inputs; receiving a selection indicative of said at least some separate and different audio layers of at least one of said multiple audio layer items from a client terminal; and providing independent access and usage to said at least some separate and different audio layers to create a remix representing a mixed digital media signal by digitally mixing and synchronizing said at least some separate and different audio layers.

23. A system for facilitating access to multiple audio layer items over a communication network comprising: a network accessible media database, connected to a communication network, which stores a plurality of multiple audio layer items such that each layer of each said audio layer item is independently accessible; and at least one subscriber application for receiving a user selection of at least one of said multiple audio layer items, connecting to said media database, and receiving said first multiple audio layer item, said at least one subscriber application having a mixing module configured for digitally synchronizing and mixing at least one selected audio layer of said selected multiple audio layer item to create locally an audio remix representing a mixed digital audio signal.

The Examiner rejected the claimed invention as being content related and therefore a pure thought process or a business method.

In reaching her decision, the Examiner relied on the background of the Application where it is stated:

“In the 1980’s computerization began to appear in professional recording studios. The first efforts were patchwork devices for automating manual console functions, and even today many automated consoles are analog audio consoles with digital equipment adapted to existing devices.

During the 1990’s, the computer industry continuously introduced multi-media computers and mixing software, which started to replace the existing, manual, consoles, many of which have audio signal input/output capability together with animated image display capability. Such a multi-media computer generally employs a multi-window display system to display different information simultaneously and independently on different windows resulting from splitting a display screen, and plural icons are usually displayed so that an operator can activate any one of them using a mouse.”

The Commissioner of Patents quoted extensive European case law to show that this type of invention is patentable in Europe, and held that by analogy it was patentable here.

He allowed the patent to publish for opposition purposes.

COMMENT

The patent has been allowed under section 17c. This does not imply an independent assessment of novelty or inventiveness. Merely, that the subject matter is not to be considered a mere thought process or software per se.

It is still not clear what type of claims will be considered patentable, but it does appear that what is considered patentable in Europe will probably be considered ptentable in Israel.

In conclusion, the Commissioner ruled that the system is tied to physical equipment and requires physical equipment but is not merely automation of something known. It cannot fairly be considered software per se. a thought process or trivial computerization of something known.

The claims as allowed in the US were allowed to publish for opposition purposes in Israel.

Re 190125, Decision of commissioner 17 Feb 2014

 


Israel’s Vringo Obtains injunction Against ZTE

December 17, 2013

VRingo

Vringo Inc. (VRNG) have announced that a Germany court found that Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corp. (000063.SZ, 0763.HK, ZTCOY) infringed one of its European patents and is required to pay damages. The total amount of damages is still being determined. ZTE was also ordered to cease and desist distribution of base stations that were found to infringe Vringo’s patent. A ZTE representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Shares of Vringo, a small mobile technology and intellectual-patent firm, jumped 5.5% premarket to $3.25. As of Monday’s close, the stock was up 7.3% so far this year.

The court ruling is subject to appeal. Also, since Germany has a bifurcated system, the validity of the patent involved is being considered in a separate proceeding, as ZTE filed an action in a federal patent court in Germany trying to nullify the patent.

Vringo filed patent infringement cases against ZTE in five countries and has a preliminary inquiry in Spain. The patents involved relate to wireless infrastructure and handsets. The suits were filed in India, the U.K., Germany, France and Australia.

Last year, Vringo was awarded about $30 million in damages and granted future royalties by a federal jury in its patent suit against a handful of technology giants, including Google Inc. (GOOG) and AOL Inc. (AOL). Vringo had sued the search companies for allegedly infringing two of its patents related to advertising placement in search results.