Microsoft expands Motorola patent case to target Google Maps

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2014
Microsoft announced in a German court today that it would be expanding its patent infringement case against Motorola to include Google, specifically targeting the search giant's maps service for Android.

Apple and Microsoft have long been engaged in legal action with Motorola. In Germany, their combined legal actions have resulted in the complete termination of Motorola's entire Android-based product line, notes Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.

Given that Google has now acquired Motorola, observers have wondered when these global patent cases would expand to name Google as a defendant.

That happened today when Microsoft's lead counsel, Dr. Tilman Mueller-Stoy of the firm Bardehle Pagenberg, announced plans to amend the company's complaint to add Google as a defendant.

Given Google's ownership of Motorola, the legal question remains whether Motorola's lawyers will accept the amendment on behalf of their parent company, or whether Microsoft will need to serve a complaint directly to Google in the United States, a detail that is expected to be resolved over the next two weeks.

Mueller also reported that Motorola was represented in the German hearing, not by any its own employees, but by "Karen Robinson, an in-house litigation counsel at Google, Inc."

Mueller described Google as working to prevent Motorola from having to accept a patent licensing deal with Microsoft, something every other significant Android vendor has already done. Microsoft described Google's opposition to Motorola's licensing of Microsoft's patent portfolio as "theater" holding up a settlement.

Microsoft is specifically targeting Google as the provider of mapping services that it says infringe upon its patent dating back to 1995, a patent that will remain in effect for another three years. Mueller notes that if Google loses the lawsuit, "Google Maps may become unavailable in Germany next spring as collateral damage of Google's unwillingness to address Android's massive, court-validated patent infringement issues."

Targeting Google Maps on a service level would not only affect Motorola's own insignificant sales in Germany, but would also have an impact on every other smartphone maker relying upon Google Maps.

Turn


Apple is no longer using Google Maps, having released its own mapping service in iOS 6.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 675member


    awesome. bring it on. hate google. hate microsoft. am going to love watching them go at it.

  • Reply 2 of 48


    This is leading up to the big one... A concerted one-two punch to Google by both Microsoft and Apple. It's going to be brutal.

  • Reply 3 of 48
    Good! Sic balls Microsoft.
  • Reply 4 of 48
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    Perhaps Microsoft gave the heads up to Apple on the maps lawsuit which is why Apple decided to launch their own version ASAP.

  • Reply 5 of 48


    Its sad to see people cheer the demise of a great product based on a patent granted in 1995 that explains basic mapping technology.


     


    "Down to google maps, because I love Apple"

  • Reply 6 of 48
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,166member
    mstone wrote: »
    Perhaps Microsoft gave the heads up to Apple on the maps lawsuit which is why Apple decided to launch their own version ASAP.

    Interesting theory indeed.

    I wonder why if this has legs in Germany why not here in the USA?
  • Reply 7 of 48
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 229member
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"
  • Reply 8 of 48
    Just want EU to do a Microsoft on Google by mandating Google cannot have a trojan horse in the Android system to monopolize the search market. Android, given its open source nature, should allow users to pick and choose the search engine that they want. The same b*sh* that Microsoft has to live with for a long time.
  • Reply 9 of 48


    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

    Interesting theory indeed.

    I wonder why if this has legs in Germany why not here in the USA?


     


    "Because legal precedent in one country has nothing to do with what another country does."



    Sorry, just parroting what I'm told when I say the US Samsung lawsuit won't be used to take them down elsewhere.

  • Reply 10 of 48

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rsdofny View Post



    Just want EU to do a Microsoft on Google by mandating Google cannot have a trojan horse in the Android system to monopolize the search market. Android, given its open source nature, should allow users to pick and choose the search engine that they want. The same b*sh* that Microsoft has to live with for a long time.


     


    You can change your search engine in both the stock Android browser and in Chrome for Android. You can also change to a different browser entirely, as well as changing your default mapping app, email app, phone dialer, text messaging app, speech synthesizer, soft keyboard, etc. In fact, you can release Android builds that don't use any Google services at all, as Amazon and Baidu are doing.

  • Reply 11 of 48
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,831member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Perhaps Microsoft gave the heads up to Apple on the maps lawsuit which is why Apple decided to launch their own version ASAP.



     


    A lot of companies that were previously using Google Maps have jumped ship. Nothing to do with this lawsuit, had to do with Google changing their licensing terms. Apple's main interest in dumping Google Maps had more to do with Google's unwillingness to allow 3rd parties access to vector based maps and turn-by-turn navigation, giving Android an advantage over competing platforms. It seems like a rather stupid move given the amount of user data that can be obtained through map based searches. Google almost instantly lost billions of search results from iOS users.


     


     


    Google's #1 position in digital mapping is a clear demonstration of how you use a monopoly position in one area to make gains in another. MapQuest was for a long time was the "go to" mapping site. After Google search took off, Google naturally had an interest in "knowing" where people were going and what they were interested in. So they quickly bought up dozens of mapping companies. And their maps became the default when people searched for locations through Google's search engine.

  • Reply 12 of 48


    Originally Posted by derekmorr View Post

    You can change your search engine in both the stock Android browser and in Chrome for Android.


     


    Are you offered the choice to do this immediately upon the first time you open the browser, also preventing you from doing anything until you choose one?

  • Reply 13 of 48
    vaelianvaelian Posts: 446member
    Its sad to see people cheer the demise of a great product based on a patent granted in 1995 that explains basic mapping technology.

    "Down to google maps, because I love Apple"

    You are ignoring the context where this is happening. People here aren't cheering for the demise of a product, they're cheering for a war that stemmed from Google not playing well with others. The bigger picture, at least for the Apple side of the case, is that Google is now in the heat for antagonizing everyone else in the industry.
  • Reply 14 of 48
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Techstalker View Post


    Its sad to see people cheer the demise of a great product based on a patent granted in 1995 that explains basic mapping technology.


     



     


    Just because a product is 'great' doesn't mean that it should have become so via a legal violation. 


     


    And you should actually be wanting this suit to go forward. You seem to think that the patent is too vague to really be valid at this stage (if not ever) so you should want this suit so that it can be invalidated by Google's arguments

  • Reply 15 of 48
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    ... I wonder why if this has legs in Germany why not here in the USA?


     


    Because the US is basically a lawless frontier compared to Europe. 


     


    Interesting to see Microsoft and Apple on the same side against Google though.  Love it. 

  • Reply 16 of 48
    Go get them Microsoft.
  • Reply 17 of 48

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Are you offered the choice to do this immediately upon the first time you open the browser, also preventing you from doing anything until you choose one?



     


    No, it's in the settings. Same as on every other browser.

  • Reply 18 of 48


    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

    Because the US is basically a lawless frontier compared to Europe.


     


    … I really want to go into this more, because tearing this apart sounds fun, but we have a subforum for this stuff, and there there be monsters… 


     




    Originally Posted by derekmorr View Post

    No, it's in the settings. Same as on every other browser.



     


    Okay, so it's not at all the same situation in any respect. And no, that's not what it is like on Microsoft computers, at least in the EU.

  • Reply 19 of 48

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    … I really want to go into this more, because tearing this apart sounds fun, but we have a subforum for this stuff, and there there be monsters… 


     


     


     


    Okay, so it's not at all the same situation in any respect. And no, that's not what it is like on Microsoft computers, at least in the EU.



     


    rsdofny said that Google was monopolizing the search market (they aren't) and that Android users should be able to "pick and choose the search engine they want." Android users can do this. And, further, they can choose alternatives for many other parts of the OS, in contrast to iOS where users can't change app defaults or replace OS components with alternatives. Given that, it's pretty galling that AI commenters would insinuate that Google is being anti-competitive. On the contrary, I think you can make a case that Apple is.

  • Reply 20 of 48
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    vaelian wrote: »
    You are ignoring the context where this is happening. People here aren't cheering for the demise of a product, they're cheering for a war that stemmed from Google not playing well with others. The bigger picture, at least for the Apple side of the case, is that Google is now in the heat for antagonizing everyone else in the industry.

    This.

    Google never saw a piece of intellectual property that they didn't want to steal - except their own, of course. Heaven help anyone who tries to copy from Google.
Sign In or Register to comment.