Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another Patent Threat to Google

A big one!

From Mark Brown – BT Sues Google for Patent Infringements in Android, Maps, Google+ and More

The British phone company says, in its US-filed lawsuit, that Google has infringed on these patents in the Android operating system, apps on the Android Market, Google Maps, Docs, Music and Offers, various location-based services and most of its advertising empire.

An example patent is “Service provision system for communications networks,” which BT was awarded in the 1990s. It essentially boils down to an app figuring out whether a phone is connected to the web via Wi-Fi or 3G, and choosing to stream at a different bandwidth. Google infringes this in Google Music and the Android Market, BT alleges.

The other patents cover navigation systems (Google Maps is the culprit here), location-based information (infringed just about everywhere) and digital rights management (Android Market is fingered).

If BT is successful in court it could force Google and Android handset makers to pay royalties on each Android handset that’s in use. That’s a lot of devices — this summer, Google Mobile president Andy Rubin took to Twitter to announce that “there are now over 500,000 Android devices activated every day.”

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