US District Court Favors Yahoo!

On May 10, 2011, a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas returned a verdict in favor of Yahoo!. Back in June 2009, Bedrock Computer Technologies sued Yahoo! for patent infringement, alleging that Yahoo!’s use of certain versions of the Linux operating system infringed the claims of Bedrock’s United States Patent No.5,893,120. However, after a four day trial, the case was submitted to the jury, and the jury found that the versions of the Linux operating system used by Yahoo! do not infringe.

“Yahoo! is extremely pleased with the verdict. We thank the court for the opportunity to be heard, and we thank the jury for their time and attention to the case, particularly given the split schedule for trial” said Kevin Kramer, Yahoo!’s Vice President for IP Litigation. The court conducted trial on April 27-29, then took a break and resumed trial on May 9, 2011. “Despite the split schedule, all 8 jurors faithfully attended trial every day, and Yahoo! is grateful for their dedicated service,” Kramer explained.

“This is an important win in our ongoing efforts to protect Yahoo!’s business and its freedom to operate on the Internet,” said Jeanine Hayes, Yahoo!’s Head of Global IP. “Yahoo! respects intellectual property rights, but we need to defend ourselves when we determine that patent infringement claims made against us are unfounded.”

This is not the first time Yahoo! has successfully defended itself in the Eastern District of Texas. Last August, Yahoo! prevailed in a patent infringement action brought by Bright Response, LLC. In that case, Bright Response accused Yahoo!’s Sponsored Search of infringing patent claims related to the processing of electronic messages, but the jury returned a verdict that the patent was both not infringed and invalid.

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