Vringo spikes after filing patent suit against ZTE

NEW YORK -- Shares of Vringo, which buys and licenses patents, jumped more than 16 percent in heavy trading Monday, after the company said it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ZTE Corp.'s U.K. subsidiary.

THE SPARK: Vringo claims in the lawsuit that ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications equipment maker, infringed on patents used in mobile phones and other devices. The company is asking the U.K. Patents Court to use its powers to stop ZTE's activities as deemed appropriate.

BACKGROUND: On Thursday, a judge for the U.S. federal district court for Norfolk, Va. declined Google Inc.'s request to throw out a separate patent suit that Vringo brought against Google Inc., AOL Inc., IAC/InteractiveCorp, Target Corp. and Gannett Co.

The suit deals with two patents originally belonging to search engine Lycos. Vringo acquired them by buying I/P Engine in July. The patents describe basic search engine functions. Google wanted Vringo's suit thrown out because other, earlier patents cover the same invention.

The trial in that case is set to start Oct. 16.

That ruling sent Vringo's shares to their highest point since the stock's debut two years ago in Thursday trading. The stock retreated on Friday following a new stock offering by the company.

SHARE ACTION: Vringo Inc.'s shares climbed 76 cents, or 016.8 percent, to $5.30 in afternoon trading. The volatile stock has traded in a 52-week range of 68 cents to $5.55. Vringo went public in July 2010.