Google Settles Patent Infringement Suit for $1.67 Billion

( – As one of the top Big Tech companies, Google regularly faces lawsuits. For example, it’s been sued by individual parties and the Department of Justice for allegedly violating antitrust laws and for its web-tracking processes, among other complaints. Now, the company is settling another lawsuit stemming from a complaint filed several years ago.

In 2019, Singular Computing accused Google of infringing on two of its patents. The Big Tech giant allegedly took specific technology and incorporated it into processing units that support artificial intelligence features in Google’s services, including Translate, Search, and Gmail. According to the lawsuit, the founder of Singular, computer scientist Joseph Bates, shared his creations with Google between 2010 and 2014.

In 2016, Google released Tensor Processing Units. In 2017 and 2018, it released versions 2 and 3, respectively, and those contained the technology Bates shared, according to the complaint, infringing on the patents. The case went to trial in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts on January 9.

During the opening statements, prosecutors presented internal emails from Google that reportedly discussed the technology and how it could be “really well suited” for what the company had planned. Google’s defense is that those who created the technology used in the processing units had never met the computer scientist, and the product is “fundamentally different than what is described in Singular’s patents.”

Just before closing arguments were to start on Wednesday, January 24, the prosecution and defense submitted a motion to pause the proceedings due to a settlement in process. Singular was originally seeking $1.67 billion in damages, though the settlement is likely to be less. It’s not clear what the terms of the agreement are at the time of writing, though both sides confirmed to Reuters that they reached a deal.

Despite the pending settlement, Google maintains that it did nothing wrong. Spokesperson Jose Castaneda said in a statement that the company is “pleased to have resolved this matter.”

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