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Google could be hit with a bill less than one twenty-fifth of what it paid for Nest, after losing a patent lawsuit with minnow SimpleAir.

SimpleAir claimed that Android infringed a patent covering push notification over wireless networks, and after a week-long trial in a Texas federal court, a jury has agreed. Separate proceedings will be needed to set damages, but SimpleAir says it will seek $US125 million.

At issue was US patent 7,035,914, “System and method for transmission of data”, filed in 1999 and granted in 2006. The patent covers push notifications, and the decision will give SimpleAir ammunition in other lawsuits.

As described in the abstract, the coverage of push notifications is very broad:

The present system provides for broadcast of up to the minute notification centric information thereby providing an instant call to action for users who are provided with the ability to instantaneously retrieve further detailed information. The notification centric portions of information is wirelessly broadcast to wireless receiving devices which are attached to computing devices. Upon receipt of the information at the personal computer, the user is notified through different multimedia alerts that there is an incoming message. Wirelessly broadcasted URL's, associated with the data, are embedded in data packets and provide an automated wired or wireless connection back to the information source for obtaining detailed data.

As SimpleAir's media release states: “The accused services are the Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and Android Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) services. The services are used by Google to process and send instant notifications for Android applications, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.”

The “inventor-owned licensing company” has previously reached settlements with Apple and BlackBerry, and is suing Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, Microsoft, HTC, LG and others over push notification implementations in their handsets.

That world+dog complaint can be downloaded from scribd. ®

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