Google settles for $1.67 billion on AI-related patents

Written By: Liz Gray (IP Lawyer) & Gabriella Fortugno (B.Eng., J.D.)

A $1.67 billion AI-related patent lawsuit between Google LLC and Singular Computing LLC ended with a settlement.

The patents at the center of this lawsuit relate to computer processors and processor architecture that support AI capabilities.  This lawsuit was one of the first AI-related patent infringement cases to make it to trial and a court decision would have been an interesting insight into AI litigation, especially in terms of the evidence needed to establish what happens inside an AI black box.

The Case

In 2019, Singular founder Joseph Bates asserted that Google’s Cloud Tensor Processing Units (TPU) infringed two patents from 2013 and 2015.  Bates claimed that Google’s Cloud TPU were released after a series of confidential meetings where Bates disclosed his patented designs.  The Cloud TPU have been used to support AI features in products including Google Search™, Gmail™, Google Translate™, and others, since 2017.

In January 2024, prior to closing arguments, the suit was stayed following a surprising joint motion to settle.   Without a decision from the court, we are left without guidance for future AI-related patent infringement cases. 

We anticipate that more AI-related patent infringement cases will make its way through the US courts with other recognizable companies.  Until then, if you have any questions about patentable subject matter in the field of software and technology, contact one of our experts today!