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British Telecom sues Google over violation of patents

BT claims that Google services such as Google Maps, Google search, Adsence, Gmail, Google Docs, Offers, Music, Location-based advertising, Google+, and Android infringe its patents.

British Telecommunications (BT) has filed a case against Google in a Delaware court, United States.

BT, the leading telecommunication provider of UK, has accused the internet search giant of “willful and deliberate infringement” its patents.

The suit filed by BT is quite unique because some of the alleged violated patents were established way back from 1998, 2000 and 2004.

It has raised speculations that the plea might have something to do with the financial condition of BT.

If the two companies fail to negotiate, and BT wins the case, then Google will not only have to pay the royalty but also change its Android licensing model.

Patents infringement
BT claims that Google services such as Google Maps, Google search, Adsence, Gmail, Google Docs, Offers, Music, Location-based advertising, Google+, and Android infringe its patents.

The telecommunications services company's patents that are said to be violated "relate to technologies which underpin location-based services, navigation and guidance information and personalised access to services and content," a BT spokesperson told Guardian.

To illustrate, BT stated that Google Music and Android are examples of Google's infringement its U.S patent no. 6,151,309 for service provision system for communication networks.

Google reacts
Though BT has called the patent infringement a "willful and deliberate" violation, Google has rejected BT’s allegations and said the claims are without merit.

A Google representative said, “We believe these claims are without merit, and we will defend vigorously against them.”

There are reports that the talks are going on and the dispute may settle soon.

If the two companies fail to negotiate, and BT wins the case, then Google will not only have to pay the royalty but also change its Android licensing model.

Patent observer Florian Mueller wrote in a Foss Patents blog post, “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.”