BT launches anti-Android lawsuit

Another company that believes it has been wronged by Android
Darren Allan

December 19, 2011
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BT is the latest company to fire off a lawsuit at Google over the Android operating system.

Apple has been the most prolific litigator when it comes to Google’s hugely successful mobile platform, but other companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and even eBay (although that’s over Google Wallet) are taking legal action against the big G.

And now BT is joining the queue, intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller notes on his blog.

BT has filed against Google in the US, the district of Delaware, and may extend the action to Europe imminently.

The suit involves alleged Android patent infringements on BT’s work in a number of fields and US patents, including service provision for communications networks, navigation information (Google Maps), telecommunications apparatus and information systems.

It’s a broad swathe of infringements, and BT is seeking an injunction plus extensive damages, with an accusation of wilful infringement which triples those damages.

Currently Google hasn’t responded to this latest salvo of fire; well, not directly anyway. Of course its ongoing acquisition of Motorola mobile is part of the company’s response to all this legal action, with 17,000 patents in the balance to help defend itself in the infringement wars.

Of course, the Motorola deal isn’t sealed yet, and in fact the EU has just delayed the decision from January, needing more time to look at further evidence of whether it might represent an anti-competitive move.

Mueller observes that with the sue Android bandwagon being increasingly jumped on, Google may look to change the operating system’s licensing model and pass the royalties buck to handset manufacturers.

Whether that might affect Android’s meteoric rise is another question. It’s probably so well established as an OS now, and making so much money for the likes of Samsung and HTC that Google may hope to get away with it.

There aren’t much in the way of alternatives, after all, with Windows Phone 7 still yet to prove itself in a meaningful way.


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