Selene Communication Technologies LLC v. Google Inc.
COMPLAINT filed with Jury Demand against Google Inc. - Magistrate Consent Notice to Pltf. ( Filing fee $ 400, receipt number 0311-1503856.) - filed by Selene Communication Technologies LLC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, part 1, # 2 Exhibit A, part 2, # 3 Exhibit A, part 3, # 4 Exhibit A, part 4, # 5 Civil Cover Sheet)(cla, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
: C.A. No. _____________________
: JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
This is an action for patent infringement in which Plaintiff, Selene Communication
Technologies, LLC (“Selene”), makes the following allegations against Defendant Google, Inc.
Plaintiff Selene is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of
business at 2961 Fontenay Road, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120.
On information and belief, Google is a corporation organized and existing under
the laws of the State of Delaware, with its principal place of business at 1600 Amphitheatre
Parkway, Mountain View, California 94043.
Google has appointed the Corporation Trust
Company, Corporation Trust Center, 1209 Orange Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801, as its
agent for service of process.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
This is an action for patent infringement arising under the Patent Laws of the
United States, Title 35 of the United States Code.
This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and 1338(a) because the action concerns the infringement of United States patents.
Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391 and 1400(b)
because, among other reasons, Google has transacted business in the State of Delaware and
Google has committed and continues to commit acts of patent infringement in Delaware.
Upon information and belief, this Court has personal jurisdiction over Google
because it is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware and has purposely
availed itself of the privileges and benefits of the laws of the State of Delaware, and because it
transacts substantial business in the State of Delaware, directly or through intermediaries,
including: (i) at least a portion of the infringements alleged herein, and (ii) regularly doing or
soliciting business in Delaware, engaging in other persistent courses of conduct, maintaining
continuous and systematic contacts in Delaware, purposefully availing itself of the privileges of
doing business in Delaware, and/or deriving substantial revenue from goods and services
provided to individuals in Delaware.
This lawsuit asserts a cause of action for infringement of United States Patent No.
6,363,377 (the “’377 Patent”). The inventions disclosed in the ’377 Patent were conceived and
created by inventors working for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research institute known as SRI
Based on a purchase agreement and assignment from SRI, Plaintiff Selene owns
the ’377 Patent, and has the exclusive right to sue for infringement and recover damages for all
past, present, and future infringement.
THE HISTORY OF SRI
All of the inventions disclosed and claimed in the ’377 Patent were originally
invented and patented by technology researchers at SRI, a premier institution with a long history
of leading technological innovation.
SRI, which began as an initiative among researchers at Stanford University, was
founded in 1946 as the Stanford Research Institute.
Since its inception, SRI was a pioneer in advancing technology in ways that had a
profound global impact. For instance, in 1963, engineers at SRI created the first optical video
disk recording system, paving the way for modern optical storage technologies such as CDROMs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs. In the early 1960s, SRI engineers invented the world’s first
computer mouse. In the late 1960s, SRI collaborated with the U.S. Department of Defense to
create “ARPANET” -- the progenitor of what would become the global Internet.
SRI was spun out from Stanford University in 1970. In the early 1970s, SRI was
the first organization to utilize domain names, with extensions such as “.com,” “.org,” or “.gov.”
In 1977, SRI created what is considered to be the first true Internet connection, by connecting
three dissimilar networks.
In 1988, SRI acquired the Sarnoff Corporation (“Sarnoff”). Sarnoff, formed in
1941, traces its origins to David Sarnoff, a principal technology researcher at RCA Laboratories.
It was created to be a research and development company specializing in vision, video, and
semiconductor technology, and it later expanded its research areas to include various facets of
information technology. Sarnoff is known for several important technological advances. For
instance, in 1953, David Sarnoff and RCA Laboratories created the world’s first color television
From 1963 to 1968, a team of engineers at the David Sarnoff Research Center
developed a revolutionary method for the electronic control of light reflected from liquid crystals
-- leading to their invention of the liquid crystal display (LCD). Sarnoff is also credited for the
development of the electron microscope and early optoelectronic components such as lasers and
In 2007, SRI spun off its creation of Siri, a virtual personal assistant with a natural
language interface, as Siri, Inc. Siri was acquired by Apple Inc. in 2011.
SRI today is a nonprofit, independent research and innovation center serving
government and industry that derives revenue from a variety of sources, including licensing. SRI
employs over 2,500 employees at research facilities across the United States and abroad,
including researchers at the former Sarnoff facilities in Princeton, New Jersey.
The ’377 Patent issued as the result of the inventiveness of SRI personnel and its
significant research investment.
SELENE COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
Selene was created in 2011 in order to advance technological innovation by active
participation in all areas of the patent market, including licensing. By creating a secondary
market for SRI patents, Selene believes it is promoting innovation and providing capital to SRI
that can be reinvested by SRI in further research.
Selene completed a transaction to, among other things, acquire the ’377 Patent
from SRI in July 2013. The transaction included a non-exclusive license to the U.S. government
for the patents.
UNITED STATES PATENT NO. 6,363,377
On March 26, 2002, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “PTO”)
duly and legally issued United States Patent No. 6,363,377, entitled “Search Data Processor,”
listing as inventors Dina Kravets, Liviu Chiriac, Jeffrey Esakov, and Suz Hsi Wan, after a full
and fair examination. A true and correct copy of the ’377 Patent is attached as Exhibit A.
Selene is the owner of the entire right, title, and interest in and to the ’377 Patent
by assignment, and has the exclusive right to sue for infringement and recover damages for all
past, present, and future infringement, including against Google.
The ’377 Patent discloses and claims, among other things, novel methods and
systems for refining, filtering, and organizing search queries and search results. The ’377 Patent
teaches inventions that are fundamental to modern methods and systems for use with search
engines, including, but not limited to, the implementation of auto-generated alternative search
queries. By way of example only, Claim 1 recites one of the inventions disclosed in the ’377
On July 30, 1998, Dina Kravets, Liviu Chiriac, Jeffrey Esakov, and Suz Hsi Wan
submitted their first provisional application for what would become the ’377 Patent. At the time,
each of the inventors was employed by SRI’s subsidiary at its New Jersey laboratories.
In 1998, Internet search engine technology was in its infancy. The leading search
engine of the time was AltaVista.
At that time, AltaVista’s search capabilities were considered state of the art.
Whereas web “cataloguing” websites, such as Yahoo, manually compiled lists of webpages,
AltaVista permitted users to search the full text of millions of automatically indexed webpages
through a single portal. Other search engines such as Excite, HotBot, or Lycos provided similar
functionality, but not on the scale provided by AltaVista. By 1998, AltaVista received 13
million queries per day, which it processed on 20 machines that collectively had 130 gigabytes of
RAM and 500 gigabytes of hard disk space.
The inventors of the ’377 Patent recognized, however, that all of these search
engines had inherent limitations. Users were limited not only by the incompleteness of the
search engines’ indexes, but also by the accuracy of the user’s search queries. A user with a
specific target in mind, for example, was faced with the needle-in-a-haystack search exercise of
manually reformulating search queries indefinitely until finding a responsive item among the
thousands of “hits” returned by the search engine. Worse still, the search engines’ inability to
effectively discern the user’s need could have led the user to mistakenly conclude that responsive
materials did not exist, when in fact they did. The user, in other words, would not know what he
or she was missing.
The inventors of the ’377 Patent sought to overcome these search limitations. The
’377 Patent generally teaches methods and systems for improving the interaction between the
user and the search engine. By general example only, the ’377 Patent discloses methods and
systems for automatically converting search queries into “Boolean” language (which allows
logical limitations and expansions of searching), selectively modifying the user’s query terms to
be weaker or stronger, and intelligently forming additional related search queries.
reformulated search queries are then submitted to the search engine in parallel with the user’s
initial search query, yielding additional -- and more accurate -- results.
The ’377 Patent was a breakthrough innovation.
An illustration of the
fundamental nature of the methods and systems taught and claimed in the ’377 Patent is the fact
that it has been cited during the prosecution of more than 265 later-filed patents. The ’377 Patent
has more forward citations than 92.9% of all comparable United States patents and has been
cited in patent applications filed by a variety of industry leaders including Google, IBM, Intel,
Oracle, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Microsoft.
INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 6,363,377
Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs 1 through 27 herein by reference as if set forth
here in full.
Google is liable for direct infringement of the ’377 Patent pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §
Google has directly infringed and continues to directly infringe, either literally or
under the doctrine of equivalents, at least Claim 1 of the ’377 Patent by making, using, selling,
and/or offering to sell in the United States, or importing into the United States, certain methods
and/or systems disclosed and claimed in the ’377 Patent, specifically including, but not limited
to, its Google Search, Google Search Appliance, Google Site Search, Google Custom Search,
Google Search for Android, and Google Search App for iPhone and iPad products and the search
functionality for its Google.com, Google Chrome Browser, and Google TV products (“Infringing
Google has induced its customers to infringe the ’377 Patent literally and/or under
the doctrine of equivalents. Google has had knowledge of the ’377 Patent and evidence of its
infringement of the ’377 Patent since at least the date Google was served with this Complaint.
Google has induced its customers and users of its Infringing Products to infringe
the ’377 Patent by providing instructions to practice the methods of the ’377 Patent and by
creating and promoting products, including the Infringing Products, that embody default
infringing search query functionality, including practicing the steps of Claim 1 of the ’377 Patent
(shown above) by default. By doing so, Google knowingly induced its customers and users to
infringe, knowing that their use of Google’s products that embody default infringing search
query functionality, including the Infringing Products, infringes the ’377 Patent. For example,
Google is aware that the infringing search query functionality is a default feature of Google’s
products, including the Infringing Products. On information and belief, Google is aware that
there is no way for a user to use its Infringing Products without using the infringing search query
On information and belief, Google acted with the specific intent to induce its
customers to use the methods claimed by the ’377 Patent by continuing the above-mentioned
activities with knowledge of the ’377 Patent. For example, Google is aware that its Infringing
Products embody default infringing search query functionality, including practicing the steps of
Claim 1 of the ’377 Patent (shown above), and therefore, that Google’s customers and users will
infringe the ’377 Patent by using the default infringing search query functionality when they use
the Infringing Products. As noted, on information and belief, Google is aware that there is no
way for a user to use its Infringing Products without using the infringing search query
Selene has suffered and continues to suffer damages as a result of Google’s
infringement of Selene’s ’377 Patent. Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284, Selene is entitled to recover
damages from Google for its infringing acts in an amount subject to proof at trial, but no less
than a reasonable royalty from Google for its infringing acts.
Google’s infringement of Selene’s ’377 Patent has damaged and will continue to
damage Selene, causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, unless
Google is enjoined by this Court.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
Selene respectfully requests the Court to enter judgment in its favor and against Google,
granting the following relief:
Judgment in Plaintiff’s favor that Google has infringed and continues to infringe,
literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents, directly and/or indirectly, the ’377 Patent;
A permanent injunction enjoining Google and its officers, directors, agents,
servants, affiliates, employees, divisions, branches, subsidiaries, parents, and all others acting in
active concert therewith from infringement of the ’377 Patent, or such other equitable relief the
Court determines is warranted;
An award to Plaintiff of damages adequate to compensate it for Google’s acts of
patent infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty, together with interest, costs,
and expenses as fixed by the court pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284;
A judgment and order requiring Google to provide an accounting and to pay
supplemental damages to Selene, including without limitation, prejudgment and postjudgment
Any further relief to which Selene may be entitled.
Selene, under Rule 38 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, requests a trial by jury of
any and all issues so triable by right.
Dated: April 23, 2014
/s/ Stephen B. Brauerman
Richard D. Kirk (rk0922)
Stephen B. Brauerman (sb4952)
Vanessa R. Tiradentes (vt5398)
Sara E. Bussiere (sb5725)
222 Delaware Avenue, Suite 900
Wilmington, DE 19801
Mark S. Raskin
MISHCON DE REYA NEW YORK LLP
750 Seventh Ave, 26th Floor
New York, New York 10019
Attorney for Plaintiff Selene Communication
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