VB Assets, LLC v. Amazon.com Services LLC

  • Court: State of Delaware, Wilmington Division, District Court
  • Case Number: 1:19cv1410
  • Filed: 29thJuly 2019
  • Judges: Maryellen Noreika
  • Case Type: 830 Patent
  • Cause: 35:271 Patent Infringement

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff(s):VB Assets, LLC
    • Counsel for Plaintiff: Ian Robert Liston |  Jason Z. Miller |  Neal C. Belgam |  Alexander J. Turner | Brad Tennis |  David Greenbaum |  Edward G. Poplawski |  Erik J. Carlson | James C. Yoon | Jamie Y. Otto |  Jennifer A. Ward | Matthew A. Macdonald |  Mikaela E. Evans-Aziz |  Ryan S. Benyamin | Ryan R. Smith
    • Expert witness for Plaintiff(s): Nathaniel Polish, Ph.D. | Brett L. Reed | John Peck
  • Defendant(s): com, Inc.| Amazon.com LLC | Amazon Web Services, Inc. |  A2Z Development Center, Inc. | Rawles LLC | AMZN Mobile LLC | AMZN Mobile 2 LLC | Amazon.com Services, Inc. |Amazon Digital Services LLC |Amazon.com Services LLC
    • Counsel for Defendants: Steven J. Balick| Allen Wang | Andrew Colin Mayo | David Hadden | Jeffrey A. Ware | Johnson Kuncheria | Min Wu | Ravi R. Ranganath | Rebecca A.E. Fewkes | Saina S. Shamilov | Sapna S. Mehta | Vigen Salmastlian
    • Expert witness for Defendant(s):Michael T. Johnson |  Keith R. Ugone

 Verdict Information

  • Verdict Date: 8thNovember 2023
  • Damages awarded to the Plaintiff(s):$46,700,000

 About the Case


In this lawsuit over voice recognition patents, filed by VoiceBox Technologies Corporation, alleges that Amazon.com, Inc. has willfully infringed multiple voice recognition and control technology patents owned by VoiceBox related to Amazon’s Alexa products and services. The patents asserted against Amazon in the complaint include U.S. Patent Nos. 8,886,549 (‘549 patent), 8,849,670 (‘670 patent), 10,491,703 (‘703 patent), 9,368,111 (‘111 patent), 9,190,063 (‘063 patent), 8,849,652 (‘652 patent), 8,983,839 (‘839 patent), 8,943,089 (‘089 patent), and 9,626,703 (‘703 patent).

The complaint alleges that Amazon has had knowledge of VoiceBox’s pioneering voice recognition patent portfolio from various sources over the course of many years, yet chose to willfully infringe the patents through its development and commercialization of the Alexa virtual assistant products and services. According to VoiceBox, Amazon’s knowledge stems from instances where VoiceBox directly notified Amazon employees of certain voice recognition patents during in-person meetings in 2011 and 2017.

Additionally, some of VoiceBox’s earlier voice recognition patents or their published patent applications were cited during prosecution of patents assigned to Amazon subsidiaries, putting Amazon on notice of the related VoiceBox voice recognition patents that issued later claiming priority to those earlier applications.

Specifically regarding the ‘549 voice recognition patent, VoiceBox asserts that Amazon knew or should have known of this patent by at least April 2015 based on citations to a related earlier VoiceBox voice recognition patent during the prosecution of one of Amazon’s own patent applications. For the ‘703 voice recognition patent, the complaint alleges Amazon was made directly aware of this patent in April 2017 when VoiceBox sent Amazon a summary of its voice recognition patent portfolio. They also claim that Amazon knew about voice recognition patents since 2011 (e.g., ‘176) from meetings, and since 2015 (e.g., ‘536) through patent citations.


The main allegation in the lawsuit is that Amazon’s Alexa products and services directly infringe the asserted VoiceBox voice recognition patents through activities like making, using, selling, offering for sale and/or importing the Alexa products and services that embody the patented voice recognition inventions.

Moreover, Amazon faces accusations of actively inducing infringement. They allegedly encourage and instruct others to use Alexa in an infringing manner. This reportedly involves practices that utilize patented voice recognition technology.

Furthermore, the complaint also alleges contributory infringement based on Amazon’s sales and offers to sell the Alexa products, which Amazon knows are specifically designed and adapted for use practicing the voice recognition inventions with no substantial non-infringing uses.


As remedies for this alleged willful infringement, VoiceBox is seeking monetary damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, including potentially enhanced up to treble damages as punishment for Amazon’s willful infringement. The lawsuit also seeks declaratory relief that this is an exceptional case, allowing for an award of attorneys’ fees to be paid by Amazon. Additionally, VoiceBox wants pre-judgment and post-judgment interest on the damages award.

Jury Verdict

The jury found that Amazon had infringed on multiple patents held by the plaintiff, including claims from U.S. Patents 8,073,681, 9,626,703, 7,818,176, and 9,269,097, with the infringement considered willful. Furthermore, the court determined that the patents’ claims were not invalid due to lack of adequate written description, obviousness, or patent ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Consequently,

Amazon was ordered to pay $46,700,000 in the form of a running royalty to the plaintiff. The ruling also rendered moot any other motions made by either party in the case, and it extended the deadline for either party to seek costs and attorneys’ fees until after the appeal process.

Court Documents: Available Upon Request

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