By Blake Brittain
April 18 (Reuters) – Alphabet’s Google LLC on Tuesday convinced a U.S. appeals court to cancel three anti-malware patents at the heart of a Texas jury’s $20 million infringement verdict against the company.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said that Alfonso Cioffi and Allen Rozman’s patents were invalid because they contained inventions that were not included in an earlier version of the patent.
Google spokesperson José Castañeda said the company appreciated the decision. Representatives for the inventors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cioffi and the late Rozman’s daughters sued Google in East Texas federal court in 2013, alleging anti-malware functions in Google’s Chrome web browser infringed their patents for technology that prevents malware from accessing critical files on a computer.
A jury decided in 2017 that Google infringed the patents and awarded the plaintiffs $20 million plus ongoing royalties, which their attorney said at the time were expected to total about $7 million per year for the next nine years.
But the Federal Circuit said Tuesday that all of the patents were invalid. The three patents were reissued from an earlier anti-malware patent, and federal law required the new patents to cover the same invention as the first, the unanimous three-judge panel concluded.
The appeals court said the new patents outlined technology specific to web browsers that the first patent did not mention.
The case is Cioffi v. Google LLC, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 18-1049. (Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington)