Google Appeals After $15.1M Verdict in Patent Infringement Case


In a recent federal jury decision in Delaware, Google has been ordered to pay a substantial $15.1 million to Personal Audio LLC, a patent-holding company. This ruling stems from allegations of patent infringement related to audio software, explicitly focusing on methods for downloading, navigating, and editing playlists. The patents have profound implications for Google’s music application, Google Play Music. The jury found Google guilty of infringement and determined it to be a willful violation, which may lead to an increase in the award. Google has expressed its intent to appeal the verdict, raising essential questions about the consequences of this case and its impact on the tech giant’s music business.

Key Facts

A federal jury in Delaware has ruled that Google must pay $15.1 million to Personal Audio LLC for infringing two audio software-related patents. These patents pertain to downloading, navigating, and editing playlists, all crucial elements in music streaming applications. Personal Audio argued that Google’s music app, Google Play Music, violated these patents. The jury’s finding of willful infringement could lead to the judge tripling the awarded amount. Google has a history of facing legal consequences for audio patent infringement, with a notable case in 2014 when it was ordered to pay VirnetX $1.9 billion (later settled for $940 million). This verdict underscores the legal risks companies face when utilizing patented technology without proper authorization and highlights the seriousness with which courts approach patent infringement cases. The impact of this ruling on Google’s music business, notably Google Play Music, could be substantial, potentially necessitating alterations to the application for compliance. It also allows other companies to file similar lawsuits against Google for audio patent infringement, potentially complicating its position in the competitive music streaming market. Google has expressed disappointment with the verdict and is planning to appeal, though the outcome of the appeal remains uncertain.


The recent federal jury decision ordering Google to pay $15.1 million to Personal Audio LLC for infringing audio software patents is a significant development in the tech industry. This ruling carries potential consequences for Google, including the need to modify its music application and the possibility of facing further lawsuits from other patent holders. The case highlights the importance of respecting patent rights and reminds companies about the legal ramifications of using patented technology without authorization. As Google plans to appeal the verdict, the tech giant’s future in the music streaming market remains uncertain, and only time will reveal the ultimate resolution of this case.  
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