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Google Maps facing ban in Germany as trial advances

At a hearing today, a judge appears to be siding with Microsoft, according to a report.

A patent battle between Google and Microsoft could see Google Maps banned in Germany.

Florian Mueller, of FOSS Patents, reported from court in Munich today, where he said the tide is shifting against Google:

Judge Dr. Matthias Zigann of the Munich I Regional Court just told Google and its Motorola Mobility subsidiary in no uncertain terms that his court is at this point (prior to counsel's argument on claim construction, infringement and validity) inclined to hold Google Inc., its subsidiary Motorola Mobility LLC and MMI's German subsidiary liable for infringement of a key Microsoft patent, EP0845124 on a "computer system for identifying local resources and method therefor", which is the European equivalent of U.S. Patent No. 6,240,360.

It's important to note that Mueller has consulted for Microsoft in the past. But it's clear that a Microsoft win would mean a big headache for Google, which could have to block Google Maps on the web and in its apps.

A Google spokesman declined to comment on the suit, but said: "We are confident in our position and look forward to defending it in court."

The court's decision is not expected until June, and both parties will be filing new briefs in the meantime. For more on the case, check out FOSS Patents.