Feeds

Google sued by ex-iPhone location outfit

Motorola threatened with Android removal, claims Skyhook

The essential guide to IT transformation

Google has been sued by Skyhook Wireless, the Boston-based outfit that offers a service for pinpointing a mobile device's location via nearby Wi-Fi signals.

On Wednesday, Skyhook filed two complaints against Google, one in US District Court claiming patent infringement. The other was filed in Massachusetts state court alleging unfair and intentional interference with its contractual and business relations with handset manufacturers such as Motorola.

The Massachusetts suit accuses Google of using its Android mobile operating system and various mobile applications, such as Google Maps, to force manufacturers into using its location technology rather than Skyhook's. According to the suit, Google forced handset makers "to terminate contractual obligations with Skyhook [and] to sacrifice superior end user experience with Skyhook by threatening directly or indirectly to deny timely and equal access to evolving versions of the Android operating system and other Google mobile applications."

The suit specifically claims that Andy Rubin, who oversees Google's Android project, told Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha that if the manufacturer didn't drop Skyhook from its phones, Google would remove official Android support from the devices. Because of this, the suit says, Google cost Skyhook millions of dollars in Motorola royalties. The suit makes a point of saying that although Google bills Android as open source, Google still maintains exclusive oversight of the platform, providing access to Android Marketplace only if devices met certain software requirements.

In total, the suit claims, Skyhook has lost "in excess of tens of millions of dollars" due to Google's actions. Claiming violation of Massachusetts laws against unfair and deceptive trade practices, the suit seeks an injunction against Google's location service as well as damages.

The separate federal suit claims that Google's location service violates four of Skyhook's patents. It too seeks an injunction and damages.

Skyhook was used in the original iPhone but Apple has since switched to its own service. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.