Jury finds for Google against digital picture-frame patent claims

  • Google Nest Hub products don’t infringe Profectus Technology patent
  • Relevant parts of patent are invalid, jury found
  • Profectus previously lost cases against Apple, Samsung, others

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(Reuters) – A jury in Waco, Texas found Wednesday that Google LLC’s Nest Hub products don’t infringe a patent owned by Profectus Technology LLC related to a picture frame for displaying digital images.

The jury in U.S. District Judge Alan Albright’s court, which is known as a hotspot for patent litigation, also found that the relevant parts of it weren’t valid.

Google’s attorney Darin Snyder of O’Melveny & Myers declined to comment. Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Profectus attorneys Casey Griffith and Michael Barbee of Griffith Barbee.

Texas-based Profectus sued Google last year, alleging its Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max – which control smart-home functions, display pictures and play music, among other things – infringe its patent. Profectus’ patent relates to a mountable picture frame for displaying digital images.

The jury found Wednesday after a four-day trial that Mountain View, California-based Google didn’t infringe the patent or induce others to infringe, and also found the five parts of the patent at issue weren’t patentable.

Albright had instructed the jury that it could find the patent invalid if its innovations had already been disclosed in earlier devices or publications. Google identified several patents and a Sony digital picture frame as relevant “prior art” to the Profectus patent.

Profectus has also unsuccessfully sued companies including Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics America Inc, and Dell Inc over the patent.

The case is Profectus Technology LLC v. Google LLC, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, No. 6:20-cv-00101.

For Profectus: Casey Griffith and Michael Barbee of Griffith Barbee; Steven Ross of Ross IP Group

For Google: Darin Snyder of O’Melveny & Myers

Blake Brittain

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

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