Google, AOL Survive Patent Lawsuit

     (CN) – Google and America Online survived a patent infringement lawsuit aimed at Google’s Internet advertising system, in the Federal Circuit.

     Bid For Position LLC claimed that Google and AOL violated its patented method for conducting an Internet auction. The method allows a bidder to select a position in the auction and adjusts it to maintain that status.
     Google’s AdWords Internet advertising system runs continuous auctions to determine placement of ads on Google’s search results pages.
     AOL Search Marketplace uses a rebranded version of AdWords that does not contain a “position preference” feature.
     The district court ruled in favor of AOL and Google, and Judge William Bryson affirmed the ruling on appeal.
     “We agree with the court that the … patent does not read on a system that simply selects the highest ranking position of priority that is available for the offered bid, which is what AdWords does when the Position Preference feature is not activated,” Bryson wrote.
     The judge reached a similar ruling regarding situations in which the Position Preference feature is activated, due to Google’s multiplication by a “Quality Score” (or “click-through rate”), which predicts the likelihood that a user will click on the advertisement.
     “The application of the Quality Score creates rankings that have no consistent mapping to the original bids,” Bryson noted.

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