After three years of going head to head in the Boston legal system Vlingo has emerged the winner of controversial patent trial against another Boston innovator. Burlington based Nuance Communications [NASDAQ: NUAN] filed a lawsuit back in 2008 that Vlingo had infringed upon U.S. Patent No. 6,766,295, which relates to methods and systems for automatically adapting speech recognition systems. The two companies have gone back and forth for three years ultimately ending with a jury in the Federal District Court in Boston ruling that Vlingo did not infringe on any of the 30 claims asserted by Nuance.
Both companies had their own ways of announcing the verdict last night. Take a look at some of the quotes from each company. Vlingo has made it clear that this is an all out war by calling Nuance desperate, absurd, distasteful and well liars.
From the Nuance press release, titled “Jury Returns Mixed Verdict in Nuance Patent Lawsuit Against Vlingo.”
“We are pleased that the jury rejected Vlingo’s attempt to invalidate our patent, but are disappointed that the jury held that Vlingo does not infringe that patent,” said Jo-Anne Sinclair, Nuance senior vice president and general counsel. “While we respect the jury system, we believe our patent has been infringed by Vlingo. We intend to appeal today’s verdict and believe Nuance has a strong position based on both the facts and the law. Creating new technology and bringing innovations to the market are at the core of Nuance’s business. We cannot and will not remain silent while others take and use our innovations.”
From the Vlingo press release, titled “Vlingo Announces Victory in Patent Trial with Nuance Communications.”
“The ruling by the jury is further vindication that Nuance cannot compete in the market, said Dave Grannan, president & CEO, Vlingo. “We are happy to report that with this latest ruling, Nuance’s record remains perfect in patent infringement trials, they haven’t won any.”
“It’s distasteful that Nuance engages in this abuse of the legal system because it clogs our courts and stifles innovation,” said Mike Phillips, CTO, Vlingo. “We hope this ruling demonstrates to the market and our customers that Vlingo won’t be bullied by these tactics and will continue to deliver on innovation.”
“It’s a real measure of the desperation of Nuance,” said Grannan. “This is clearly an aggressive step by Nuance to attempt to attack AT&T’s technology through Vlingo and demonstrates Nuance will go to the ridiculous extreme in its patent troll behavior to try to stifle innovation in our industry.”
“It’s a new level of absurdity,” said Mike Phillips, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Vlingo. “Nuance actually used an academic research paper from Interspeech 2011, a well known research conference, to accuse Vlingo of running infringing experiments. I have been attending these conferences for decades and have never seen anything this ridiculous. ”
“We saw Nuance issued a press release tonight on this jury ruling with the headline: ‘Jury Returns Mixed Verdict in Nuance Patent Lawsuit Against Vlingo,’ “said Grannan. “That’s like the Red Sox beating the Yankees in the World Series, and then seeing the Yankees issue a press release saying: ‘World Series Returns Mixed Result, Red Sox Win but Yankees got More Hits.'”
This battle may have been won but the war certainly isn’t over. Nuance reportedly has several other lawsuits pending against Vlingo, both in the United States and abroad. None of these other cases are affected by the jury verdict in this case. Nuance is apparently win-less in its patent trials so far.