Court reinstates patent claims against Google


SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal court on Wednesday breathed new life into a patent infringement claim against Google Inc. brought by HyperPhrase Technologies LLC.

Last April, HyperPhrase accused Google's AdSense advertising feature, and its AutoLink product of violating four of its patents. HyperPhrase's lawsuit was dismissed in its entirety in December by U.S. District Judge John Shabaz.

In a ruling dated Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said Shabaz erred when he dismissed the claims involving Google's AutoLink feature. The court, though, let stand Shabaz's decision that Google's AdSense advertising program didn't violate any HyperPhrase patents.

The appellate court then sent the case back to the lower court for more proceedings.

Representatives for Google and HyperPhrase, Madison, Wis., couldn't be reached Wednesday for comment.

Autolink's been part of Google's Web browser tool bar feature since 2005, and it's used to automatically layer on additional hyperlinks to Web pages. Critics have accused Google of using the feature to modify Web pages to chosen partners.

Shares of Mountain View, Calif.-based Google rose $10.11, or 1.4%, to close at $710.84 Wednesday.