Feeds

Court rejects Google call to end 'Android not open' suit

Skyhook gathers evidence on Google 'interference'

High performance access to file storage

A Massachusetts court has denied Google's efforts to dismiss a hot-button lawsuit that accuses the company of unfairly using its Android operating system to strong-arm mobile handset makers into using Google location services rather than those of rival Skyhook.

Earlier this week, Judge Judith Fabricant of the Massachusetts Superior court rejected a Google motion for summary judgment in the case, brought by Skyhook last year. Mountain View had sought to end the case before Skyhook was allowed to obtain additional evidence to support its claims.

"Skyhook's theory ... appears to be that Google used its contractual power not to protect its legitimate business interests but to injure Skyhook and thereby avoid competition," the judge said. "Whether Skyhook will be able to elicit evidence to support that theory remains to be seen, but, at least at this stage, the Court cannot conclude that the theory lacks viability."

Skyhook has long offered services for pinpointing the location of mobile devices using nearby Wi-Fi networks and cell towers. Its location services were included with the original iPhone, though Apple has since moved to its own services. Google offers similar services with Android.

In September, Skyhook filed two complaints against Google, one in US District Court in Massachusetts claiming patent infringement, and a second in Massachusetts state court alleging unfair and intentional interference with its contractual and business relations with handset manufacturers. The state suit accuses Google of using Android and various proprietary Google mobile applications, including Google Maps, to force manufacturers into using Google's location services rather than Skyhook's.

According to that suit, Google forced multiple 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 Motorola didn't drop Skyhook from its phones, Google would remove official Android support from the devices. This would mean the devices could not use proprietary Google apps or the Android name. The suit says that whereas Google paints Android as open source, Google still maintains exclusive oversight of the OS. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.