This paper was originally written as a source material for my presentation at the ABA’s 2017 IP West as part of the The China Paradox – October 11-12, 2017, Long Beach, CA, and subsequently edited and supplemented.
I. The Vringo Background
The following paper is a short history of the thirty-nine-month battle between Vringo, Inc. and ZTE Corporation. Vringo (now called FORM Holdings) was a technology company that became involved in the worldwide patent wars. The company won a 2012 intellectual property lawsuit against Google, in which a U.S. District Court ordered Google to pay 1.36 percent of U.S. AdWords sales. Analysts estimated Vingo’s judgment against Google to be worth over $1 billion. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the District Court’s ruling on appeal in August 2014 in a split 2-1 decision, which Intellectual Asset Magazine called “the most troubling case of 2014.” Vingo also pursued worldwide litigation against ZTE Corporation in twelve countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Malaysia, India, Spain, Netherlands, Romania, China, Malaysia, Brazil and the United States. The high profile nature of the intellectual property suits filed by the firm against large corporations known for anti-patent tendencies has led some commentators to refer to the firm as a patent vulture or patent troll. Read more