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 20% Wednesday after the company announced another favorable court ruling related to the infringement of its patents by the AdWords system used by AOL and Google.
So what: Specifically, a U.S. District court has issued a "Memorandum Opinion and Order" asserting the appropriate ongoing royalty rate for continued infringement of its patents is 6.5% of the 20.9% royalty base previously set.
What does this mean? Remember, after the court upheld the validity of Vringo's patents in November, a jury decided reasonable damages should be based on a running royalty rate of 3.5%. And though Google and AOL argued they had designed workarounds specifically to avoid infringing Vringo's patents, Vringo shares jumped again last week when the court ruled those workarounds were "nothing more than a colorable variation of the system adjudged to infringe."
As a result, both Google and AOL were subject to the legal standards set for willful infringement, which meant assigning an increased royalty rate.
Now what: All told, the new rate and past awards are collectively worth around $1 billion for Vringo -- not too shabby for a company with a $400 market capitalization.
However, investors need to keep in mind Google won't give up that easily. To be sure, a Google representative weighed in, "We believe strongly in our pending appeal in this matter, and we anticipate seeking Federal Circuit review of today's decision as well."
Today's win is a big one for Vringo shareholders, but this battle is far from over.
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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.