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Yahoo Infringed Web Links Patent, $15 Million Owed: Jury (2)

March 30, 2022, 2:38 PMUpdated: March 30, 2022, 6:19 PM

Droplets Inc. is owed $15 million because Yahoo! Inc.'s Search Suggest feature infringes one of the company’s patents, a California federal jury found.

Search Suggest offers suggestions when people type words into the Yahoo search bar. The jury decided Tuesday other Yahoo products, including Yahoo’s Search History feature, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo Maps didn’t infringe Droplet’s U.S. Patent No. 6,687,745, covering a system for delivering interactive links.

Courtland Reichman of Reichman Jorgensen LLP, an attorney for Droplets, said the verdict confirms “Droplets invented technology that changed the Internet.”

“While the other big tech players did the right thing by taking a license, Yahoo was a hold out and tried to use Droplets‘ property without paying for it,” Reichman wrote in an email. “The jury saw through it.”

Yahoo’s attorney, Woody Jameson of Duane Morris LLP, said the company strongly believes Droplets’ patent has nothing to do with Yahoo’s technology and it looks forward to the next steps in the legal process.

“While we certainly hoped for a complete defense verdict, we are pleased that the jury rejected entirely Droplets’ contention that four of the five accused technologies infringed” the patent, Jameson said in an email.

“We also are pleased,” Jameson wrote, “that the jury rejected Droplets’ accusation of willful infringement and rejected Droplets’ outlandish damages demand of over $260 million dollars.”

Texas-based Droplets filed the suit in 2011. Trial started March 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Droplets is represented by Reichman Jorgensen LLP. Yahoo is represented by Duane Morris LLP and Haltom & Doan.

The case is Droplets Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 12-cv-03733, 3/29/22.

(Updated with comment from Yahoo's attorney. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Bultman in New York at mbultman@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Renee Schoof at rschoof@bloombergindustry.com