Uh Oh Google, HyperPhrase Is Back

    December 26, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Google may have thought they saw the last of HyperPhrase Technologies and their patent infringement suit over AdSense and AutoLink. That would be wrong.

Around this time in 2006, a US District Court Judge in Madison, Wisconsin, dismissed the HyperPhrase suit against Google. HyperPhrase claimed AdSense and AutoLink violated four patents the company held.

A year later, HyperPhrase has a partial resurrection of its suit. While the US Court of Appeals agreed the AdSense infringement claim should be dismissed, the AutoLink complaint has been reinstated, according to Dow Jones.

Google uses AutoLink in its Toolbar, and described the AutoLink feature in its help pages:

The online review of a great new restaurant has the place’s address but no map. You could type the restaurant’s street, city, and ZIP code into the search box, but why bother, when clicking the Toolbar’s AutoLink button will automatically create a link to an online map (US addresses only)? AutoLink can also link package tracking numbers to delivery status, VIN numbers (US) to vehicle history, and publication ISBN numbers to Amazon.com listings.

A Reuters report cited Michael Kwun, Google’s managing counsel for litigation, in a comment about the appellate court ruling AdSense did not infringe on the patents:

"We’re very pleased that the Federal Circuit agreed that AdSense does not infringe any of Hyperphrase’s patents. We continue to believe the remaining claims in the lawsuit are without merit, and will vigorously defend against those claims," said Kwun.

In 2006, Google’s attorney called the suit a "nuisance" and "an attempt to generate revenue" by getting Google to settle. Google has always shown an inclination to fight lawsuits, and we expect they will fight HyperPhrase over AutoLink again.