SimpleAir’s website suggests it has something to do with computers, innovation, and fingers. (credit: SimpleAir)
SimpleAir is a patent-licensing company owned by John Payne, an Orange County Internet entrepreneur who was formerly the CEO of Stamps.com. The company has lobbed Payne’s patents at several of the biggest names in tech, including Apple, Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung, and Blackberry, as well as media companies like Disney. By 2012, most of those companies had settled patent lawsuits brought by Payne, but Google did not.
Google has paid a price for resisting Payne’s patents. Last year, a jury in the Eastern District of Texas found that Android’s system of push notifications infringed Payne’s US Patent No. 7,035,914. The jury deadlocked on damages, but a second damages trial resulted in Google being ordered to pay $85 million to SimpleAir and its lawyers at Dovel & Luner. Google has appealed the results of that case.
Hungry for more, SimpleAir filed suit (PDF) against Google again, alleging that Android push notifications infringe two more Payne patents, US Patent Nos. 8,601,154 and 8,572,279. For those two patents, both from “continuation” applications related to the earlier ‘914 patent, Payne and his lawyers sought more than $100 million in additional payment.
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