Why Vringo, Inc. Shares Popped

Is Vringo's jump meaningful? Or just another movement?

Jan 22, 2014 at 6:24PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) jumped nearly 22% Wednesday after the company announced a favorable court ruling regarding outstanding patent litigation for its I/P Engine subsidiary.

So what: Specifically, Vringo states, a U.S. District Court has ruled the "Defendants' alleged design-around is 'nothing more than a colorable variation of the system adjudged to infringe,' and accordingly I/P Engine 'is entitled to ongoing royalties as long as Defendants continue to use the modified system.'"

So what does this mean? Remember, shares of Vringo also jumped back in November, when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office validated all the claims of the second of two patents being challenged by various companies including AOL, Google, IAC/Interactive, Gannett, and Target. That ruling, for its part, paved the way for Vringo to collect royalties from the infringing companies. 

Google and AOL, however, were still arguing they had designed workarounds specifically to avoid infringing Vringo's patents, and therefore shouldn't owe the company royalties. Today's ruling effectively negates those claims. 

Now what: AOL hasn't responded for comment, but a Google representative quickly weighed in, "Today's decision further highlights the mischief trolls can make with the patent system." As a result, Google elaborated, it not only looks forward to the results of its pending appeal of the original ruling, but also plans to seek a review of today's decision.

If one thing's for sure, though, it's that today's win is a big one for Vringo shareholders, who are undoubtedly looking forward to resolving the case once and for all.

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Vringo shareholders could stand to win big from its patents but keep in mind there are plenty of other great stocks out there for patient investors.

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Fool contributor Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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