Google Anti-Malware Technology Patent Case Set For Trial

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Google is set to go to trial over alleged violations of anti-malware technology patents following the company’s unsuccessful appeal with the US Supreme Court and the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The Alphabet-owned tech giant is now scheduled to go to court next month, three and a half years after the firm was served with a patent infringement lawsuit over certain anti-malware solutions implemented in its Chrome browser. The case of one Alfonso Cioffi against Google has significant implications for patent practices in the US and could potentially change the manner in which inventors and their lawyers apply for patents.

On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court dismissed Google’s request to review a judgment made by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The decision challenged by Google allowed Cioffi to go through with his lawsuit over patent infringement filed in mid-2013. Cioffi claims certain anti-malware features of Chrome infringe on his patented “web browser process.” While the lawsuit was initially dismissed by a federal judge in 2014, the case was revived next year following Cioffi’s successful appeal. The inventor is now set to go to trial with Google over four related infringements of patents granted to him in 2004, as he’ll try to prove Chrome detects malware in the same manner his proprietary technology does. Google is arguing that the term “web browser process” has no accepted universal definition which is why it believes Cioffi’s patents are too vague to even be infringed.

The Mountain View-based tech giant is now set to start a legal battle that could potentially change patent practices in the country as it will try to win a precedent-setting trial by arguing that Cioffi was granted a patent that was too vague. If Google wins the case, patent lawyers will likely have to stop applying for broadly described patents which they subsequently shrink with amendments as their clients’ technology evolves and materializes. The Alphabet-owned company believes that’s exactly what Cioffi’s lawyers did and while the final version of his anti-malware solution may be similar to that used by Chrome, the debate will likely focus on how similar it is to the initially granted patent in 2004.