BT files US Android patent suit against Google - Mobile World Live

BT files US Android patent suit against Google

19 DEC 2011

BT has filed a lawsuit alleging that Google’s Android mobile OS infringes six of its patents. The complaint was filed in the US in the Delaware District Court and seeks damages as well as an injunction on Android. "BT brings this action to recover the just compensation it is owed and to prevent Google from continuing to benefit from BT's inventions without authorisation,” BT stated in its complaint.

BT follows Apple, eBay, Microsoft and Oracle in bringing patent infringement litigation related to the Android OS. Foss Patents’ Florian Mueller suggests that with so many patent holders now asserting their rights, Google may need to change its Android licensing model. Google is currently working to close its acquisition of Motorola Mobility and Mueller suggests BT either has a cross-license deal with Motorola or believes the company doesn’t have any patents which Google can use to strike back at the complaint.

The US patents BT is seeking to protect include a “service provision system for communications networks”, meaning services provided by “a combination of communications networks in spite of differing capabilities on the bandwidth that is available in certain mobile networks.” BT says both Android and Google Music infringe this patent. For example, Android download services are made available based on location and whether devices are connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile data network.

Android’s use of a navigation information system, which includes a fixed and mobile element, is also being pursued by BT. Google Maps determines the location of the user with “predetermined map overlay areas” but augments it with “current information”, such as traffic data.

Next up is a “telecommunications apparatus and method” patent related to the transmission of “shortlists of sources of information” depending on the location of the user. Another technology patent covers a “communications node for providing network-based information service,” which is essentially a DRM patent according to Foss Patents, and applies to Android Market, Google Books and Google Music.

The BT complaint also relates to an information system which determines how a navigated route can be affected by the physical characteristics of a vehicle. The final patent under discussion is the "storage and retrieval of location based information in a distributed network of data storage devices", with Google Maps and Google Maps Navigation alleged to use the technology.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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