Wireless Ink Corp has won the first round of a patent lawsuit against both Google and Facebook. The search and social companies failed to get Wireless Ink's infringement tossed and now Wireless Ink can pursue charges pertaining to user participation in social networks on mobile devices against the tech giants .
Wireless Ink is the creator behind Winksite, described by us in 2007 as a "mobile conversion and community site" that allows users to create mobile sites to engage users. According to Reuters, Winksite has 75,000 registered users versus millions of Facebook mobile users and potential millions of users for Google Buzz, which was also mentioned in the suit.
Winksite says its patent went live in January 2004. Facebook was just emerging from a college dorm room in Cambridge, Mass. and Google was on its way to an initial public offering, way before social or mobile became priorities.
"If two of the most resource-rich, patent-savvy and technologically advanced companies leading the Internet were not aware of the '983 patent, despite its potential ramifications upon a major segment of the defendants' business," Wireless Ink wrote, "this was solely due to a deliberate indifference on the part of defendants."
Google and Facebook failed to have the patent ruled invalid or Winksite's claim thrown out, so the likelihood now is that the companies will have to pay Wireless Ink Corp to get the matter resolved.
Wireless Ink is seeking a stop to the patent infringement along with compensatory and treble damages. Given the amount of users that access Facebook through their smartphones, it will likely be Facebook that is affected more by the Winksite claims than Google, considering that Google Buzz adoption remains low.