Here's How Much Vringo Court Win Will Cost Google

By Alex Brokaw  NOV 08, 2012 12:04 PM

Plus, Google beefs up its venture fund, launches Free Zone, and loses market share in China.

 


This column highlights the most interesting and useful news and commentary on Google every week.

“Vringo’s Court Win Suggests Running Royalties May Yield $500-$600 Million”
On Tuesday, Vringo (NYSEAMEX:VRNG) won a court case against Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which ‘validated’ Vringo’s ownership of the Internet search filtering patents 420 and 664. Vringo was awarded a $32 million payout for damages from past defendants, who in addition to Google include AOL (NYSE:AOL), Target (NYSE:TGT), Gannett (NYSE:GCI), and IAC/Interactive (NASDAQ:IACI). However, recent reports point to this payout being much higher, in the range of $125 million to $150 million per a year for five years. The exact amount is hinged on the defendants' revenue growth. Due to the nature of these search patents, similiar lawsuits involving leading major search engines like Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) could be seen in the future. Read more at Seeking Alpha.

“Google Losing Market Share in UK and China?”
Two new reports released since Google’s October 18 earnings report -- which saw shares dive 50-points -- hint at the search giants slipping grasp in some markets. Experian Hitwise released a report in the UK showing that Google’s search market share dropped below 90% for the first time in five years, while usage of Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com has ticked slightly higher. Bing might be to blame, as Microsoft has hawkishly promoted it’s new search in the past months, along with Windows 8. In China, the latest reports show Google Map usage has dropped 17.5%, to 9% of market share, from number 2 to number 6 most used map service. Increasing competition from Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU) and other Chinese map providers could be to blame. Google maps being partially blocked in China might have something to do with it too. Read more at Insider Monkey.

(Want more on Google’s 3Q earnings? See Post Mortem: Reviewing the Outcome of a Google Earnings Options Trade)

“Google Ventures Beefs Up Fund Size to $300 Million a Year”
Google’s aptly named venture-capital wing will get a 50% funding hike, giving Google Ventures a $300 million purse to invest in more than just “seed stage companies.” Now, Google Ventures will be able to compete with corporate venture funds, like Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) Intel Capital, and invest in later-stage financing rounds. Despite seeing it’s investments in online vacation rental service HomeAway (NASDAQ:AWAY) pay off when the company went public last year, Google has yet to see a real hit in the venture space. Does this extra cash promise Google’s involvement in the next Twitter or Pinterest? Read more at Reuters.

“Google Reaches Out to the ‘Next Billion’”
Google is launching a service called Free Zone, which seeks to drive millions of people in the developing world to use the internet. Currently in place in the Philippines, Free Zone allows phones with “limited function” -- i.e. non-smartphones -- to access a basic version of Google products like email, search, and Google+ for free. However, while search comes at no cost, accessing websites outside of results will require users to subscribe to a local mobile carriers data plan. So, what’s in it for Google? Exposing this ‘next billion’ to Google’s primary revenue source: Ads. Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

“How Android Took Over The World”
With a forward projection estimating that by 2016 Google’s Android operating system will run more devices than Microsoft Windows, Know You Mobile reaches all the way back to 2003 to detail the history of Android’s meteoric rise. In it’s wake it has left behind Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, Research in Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM)’s Blackberry OS, and Symbian, the once dominant platform now currently powers Nokia (NYSE:NOK) smartphones. This is a true underdog story which begins at the birth of a secret startup, Android Inc., and carries through to present day when more than 75% of all smartphones shipped run on Google Android. Read more here.

Twitter: @brokawbrokaw
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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