British Telecom sues Google over Android, other services

The venerable telephone company claims that Google's Maps, Search, and Google+ infringe on six of its patents.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil

British Telecom filed a lawsuit against Google on Thursday, alleging that Android and other services violate six of the telephone company's patents.

The lawsuit (see below), filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, claims that Google services such as Android Market, Google Maps, Google Search, Google+, and Google Offers violate patents owned by British Telecom. The services infringe on a variety of patents including ones that cover systems for navigation information, service provision system for communications networks, and telecommunications apparatus and method.

The suit seeks unspecified damages as well as an injunction.

A Google representative rejected BT's assertions, saying: "We believe these claims are without merit, and we will defend vigorously against them."

Google's mobile operating system has attracted lawsuits before, notably from Apple and Microsoft, which is on a campaign to ink patent-protection deals with original design manufacturers.

At least one patent observer predicts the lawsuits may force Google to make changes to how it distributes the OS to device makers.

"With so many major patent holders asserting their rights, obligations to pay royalties may force Google to change its Android licensing model and pass royalties on to device makers," Florian Mueller wrote in a Foss Patents blog post.

11-12-15 BT v Google Complaint