Friday, November 9, 2012

Vringo, Inc. (AMEX:VRNG) V Google Inc (GOOG): What We Have Got So Far?

Shares of Vringo, Inc.(NYSEAMEX:VRNG), the patent holding company fell about 10% (after yesterday’s rebound of 8%) after its victory against AOL, Inc.(NYSE:AOL) and Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG) in a jury lawsuit in Virginia. The victory is supposed to bring $30 million to the company in up-front damages and royalties that could amount to millions over a number of years.

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Vringo had filed a case against Google and some other big companies saying that their web search efforts violated basic technologies that are owned by Vringo since many years. The amounts that were proposed by the jury seem to be way lower than some people were expecting out the victory.

Vringo has issued a statement saying that the company has received many inquiries regarding the jury’s computation of damages incurred in the past. Vringo’s legal term is reconsidering the verdict and plans to tackle all post-trial matters with the court.

The stock has got at least one thumps up from the Street. John Tinker from Maxim Group has reiterated a Buy rating on Vringo stock and a price target of $10. He has written that the judge can tackle the misunderstandings that have taken place in the post-trial briefings.

Tinker has explained how the jury went about its verdict on royalties and damages where the discrepancy seems to lie. He believes that Vringo had initially claimed for $493 million in damages, taking six years into considerations. Of the total damages calculated, $451 million applied to only Google. The jury granted damages against Google amounting to $15.8 million. The jury granted damages against AOL amounting to $7.9 million. Whatever the math be, the jury seems to have discarded the expert witness argument of Google that royalties should not be paid, only a lump sum of $3-$5 million will suffice.

Tinker expects Google to appeal, but it may take up to 12-15 months. He thinks the search engine giant may play games the way DISH did in litigations that were brought against it by TiVo.

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