California - British Telecom, an England-based phone company recently filed suit against Google for its Android smartphone technology. The company claims the Android operating system infringes on six British Telecom patents.
British Telecom filed suit in a Delaware district court and claims that Google Search, Google Maps, Google Music, Android Market, Google Plus, and Adwords infringe on its patents. Adwords, Google's location-based advertising, accounts for a large proportion of its revenues. The damages British Telecom seeks will likely amount to billions of dollars. British Telecom claims some counts should be trebled due to deliberate and willful infringement. In addition, British Telecom seeks injunctions against the sale of infringing products, possibly resulting in Android phones being pulled from store shelves in the United States.
The first patent encompasses a technology allowing Google Music to signal to a user that a certain music service is available depending on the user's location and hot spot connectivity. The second patent allows Google Maps to convey current information such as data about tourism, public transport, and traffic via a handheld device. The third patent is based on user preferences and relates to several Google applications such as Google Maps and Google Search. The fourth patent relates to customer data storage and digital rights, such as user profiles stored on Google's servers that users can access through the Android phone. The fifth patent covers the method by which Google Maps provides users with driving and walking routes. The sixth patent encompasses location-based information used by Google Maps and Google Maps Navigation.
Google also faces patent infringement allegations from Oracle. Android producers Samsung and HTC face suits from Apple and Microsoft. If these suits are successful, Google may have to pay royalties for each Android phone produced and sold. Android phones currently account for forty percent of the company's sales, and 500,000 new phones are activated each day.