Giant tech companies don’t usually cut sympathetic figures in court but, on Thursday, a federal judge in decided that the lawyers who had been harassing them with a frivolous lawsuit deserved to be punished.
In a decision issued in San Jose, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh — last seen overseeing the Apple-Samsung patent damages trial — found that a lawsuit that accused AOL(s aol) and Microsoft(s msft) of cooking up a bogus patent auction with the help of Goldman Sachs was “frivolous” and “utterly lacking” in facts.
The lawyers in question will have to pick up AOL’s legal tab, and Judge Koh is also preparing to set out other punishments, which could include fines and disciplinary measures.
The case in question came about after AOL sold a portfolio of patents at auction to Microsoft for over $1 billion in April 2012, causing AOL’s share price to soar. One month…
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