By Ben Fox Rubin
A U.S. district court sided with video-ringtone company Vringo Inc. (VRNG) regarding four out of six issues in an ongoing patent case it has against a handful of major companies.
Intellectual-property firm Innovate/Protect, which agreed to merge with Vringo in March, filed a patent suit against AOL Inc. (AOL), Google Inc. (GOOG), IAC/InterActiveCorp. (IACI), Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI) and Target Corp. (TGT) last year. The company acquired eight patents from Lycos involving relevance-filtering technology and claims two of those patents were infringed.
A hearing, known as a Markman hearing, was scheduled to define the specific meanings of a handful of disputed terms in the suit, such as "collaborative feedback data" and "a scanning system." A judge on Friday sided with four out of six of Vringo's definitions, and sided with the defendants on the other two.
Shares, which were halted midday, closed Monday up 9.5% at $4.02 amid the Markman ruling. The stock has quadrupled this year, after tumbling in 2011, amid the merger deal, as well as an investment from tech investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
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