BT sues Google over six key Android patent infringements

By Lee Kaelin on December 19, 2011, 8:30 AM

This year has been without a doubt the year of lawsuits, with many high profile companies battling it out in courtrooms throughout the world over intellectual property and patent disputes. Barely a day goes by without Apple or Samsung hitting the headlines, and Google has found itself at the receiving end of numerous patent infringement claims regarding its mobile OS. Microsoft has been busy as well, penning multiple royalty agreements with various Android handset manufacturers, despite insiders questioning the validity of the claimed IP violations.

Now British Telecom, a UK-based telecommunications company has taken aim at Android with a lawsuit filed in the state of Delaware, accusing Google of ongoing and pervasive infringement of its patents, and demanding billions of dollars in compensation for the use of six of the firm's key patents.

The move by the British firm could also be repeated in Europe, adding yet another large corporation to the growing list that Google is now fighting off, including giants such as Apple, Oracle and Microsoft.

Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, a BT spokesperson claimed, "the patents in question relate to technologies which underpin location-based services, navigation and guidance information and personalised access to services and content. BT's constant investment in innovation has seen it develop a large portfolio of patents which are valuable corporate assets." 

If successful, they would be entitled to charge a royalty fee per handset sold, in much the same way Microsoft has already penned agreements with major players like HTC and Samsung. It is also possible that the company would be entitled to compensation for loss of earnings on existing handsets, which with Google's announcement in June that it is activating 500,000 handsets a day will likely run into billions of dollars.

Interestingly, according to the Guardian, many of the patents that BT alleges are infringed would also apply to almost all of Apple's iPod, iPhone and iPad range. Whether Apple has licensed the use of these patents is unknown, but the next couple of months could be interesting for the Cupertino-based giant should no arrangement be in place already.

A spokesperson for Google responded with a statement saying, "we believe these claims are without merit, and we will defend vigorously against them."




User Comments: 10

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slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Let's hope Google countersues over BT's blocking of websites.

Det Det said:

" A spokesperson for Google responded with a statement saying, "we believe these claims are without merit, and we will defend vigorously against them." "

I love Google but how is that anything new?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Google, I really hope you destroy them in court. Possibly the worst customer service I've ever had is with BT and the worst internet connection i've ever had was with BT and the highest bills i've ever had were from BT, they just simply suck, not to mention they have recently started blocking websites on their network, they really can go and do one...

On Another note, with the amount of Patent lawsuits and licensing deals that are being created due to Andriod, is it really a free OS?

Guest said:

bt sucks. BIG TIME.

KG363 KG363 said:

I read BT as BitTorrent

gobbybobby said:

while they do block that 1 website (Yea its just 1 website I believe) and they traffic shape torrents, at least there finally upgrading the Broadband infrastructure around the UK. im typing from a 1meg Bt line right now, it sucks, but there the only ISP I can get (Other than the Post office dial up), I think ill stick with 1 meg BT thanks.

I hope they win so they can invest the money into improve broadband in not just towns and city but rural areas too. Yea the rural areas will be the last to get Fibre, but sooner they get the towns and city done, sooner they can move on to the little villages and houses in the middle of nowhere.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

gobbybobby said:

while they do block that 1 website (Yea its just 1 website I believe) and they traffic shape torrents, at least there finally upgrading the Broadband infrastructure around the UK. im typing from a 1meg Bt line right now, it sucks, but there the only ISP I can get (Other than the Post office dial up), I think ill stick with 1 meg BT thanks.

I hope they win so they can invest the money into improve broadband in not just towns and city but rural areas too. Yea the rural areas will be the last to get Fibre, but sooner they get the towns and city done, sooner they can move on to the little villages and houses in the middle of nowhere.

Well you say that but I live in Hazlemere, near High Wycombe which itself is very close to london and i still can't get fibre. My friend has Fibre and it seems to go down alot I assume its just because they are still growing the network but its still a pain. Although If BT were to go at least that would be a kick up the butt for the other 50+ ISP's to finally get out there and put some cables down

TJGeezer said:

Geez, I get better broadband from a legislated monopoly in Mexico than you guys do in Britain. Strange and mysterious, the workings of corporations. Especially corporations that substitute lawfare for service and innovation.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@burty

I think they lured them in to thinking that its a 'freebie', however, with passage of time as almost all major smartphone makers (with android) are now paying money to patent holders, it isn't. Funny thing is it is Google which got them in to this by being a thief, and yet Google isn't paying anything at all

Guest said:

I'm with Google vs Patent Trolls.

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