Google Wins Judgement in IP Case… VideoShare v. Google and Youtube.
A Delaware federal judge on Tuesday invalidated two patents on a system of sharing streaming video, marking a victory for Google Inc. and its subsidiary YouTube LLC.
Ruling on Google’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, U.S. District Judge Gregory M. Sleet said the patent claims of Massachusetts-based VideoShare were directed to an abstract idea and did not improve upon already-existing technology.
“VideoShare did not invent the technology that converts video files into streaming format,” Sleet wrote in a 20-page opinion Tuesday ruling the claims ineligible under Section 101 of the Patent Act.
Non-practicing entity VideoShare has been pursuing infringement actions against the companies since 2012 in Massachusetts and Delaware. The technology, according to court documents, allows users to receive a video file, convert it into streaming video, and embed it into a web page for other users in a network to view.
VideoShare dropped the Massachusetts case in 2014. Google and YouTube campaigned to transfer the Delaware case there, but Sleet declined, setting up Tuesday’s decision on the merits.
Google had argued that VideoShare’s patents claimed the abstract idea of translating content from one format to another, such as when VHS videotapes are converted to DVDs. VideoShare insisted it claimed specific methods for automating the streaming process and generating thumbnail images.
Sleet disagreed with both formulations, but still found the claims abstract, meaning that VideoShare’s technology had to introduce an inventive concept to make it patent eligible.
VideoShare’s attempts to meet that burden produced only “conclusory statements,” Sleet said. He agreed with Google that the patents “do not contain an inventive concept and thus fail to transform the abstract idea into patent eligible subject matter.”
Attorneys from both sides did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.
Google was represented by Jack B. Blumenfeld and fellow Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell attorneys Brian P. Egan and Paul Saindon. They were joined by a team of attorneys from White & Case.
VideoShare was represented by Brian E. Farnan of Farnan and a team of attorneys from Dovel & Luner in California.