This year have been troublesome for Google. Google’s Motorola mobility already lost third patent lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. and now Massachusetts-based Skyhook Wireless have sued Google for infringing nine patents for global positioning detection. The lawsuit targets location-identification technology including “Google Maps” used by Google customers in products such as tablet computers, according to a complaint filed by Boston-based Skyhook on 21st September, 2012 in federal court in Delaware.
Spokesperson from Skyhook Wireless said that Google is using the inventions “without authority or license from Skyhook,” and should pay damages after a jury trial. They are slao seeking an injunction on the devices using the infringed technology.
The main technologies that are said to be infringed in this case are Location-tracking technology, which can pinpoint a person’s whereabouts, help advertisers tailor marketing messages to mobile-device users. Closely held Skyhook pioneered tracking a smartphone’s location by measuring its proximity to Wi-Fi hotspots instead of relying on global-positioning satellites or cell towers.
The 9 patents that are said to be infringed in this case are:
1. US 7,856,234: “System and method for estimating positioning error within a WLAN-based positioning system.
2. US 8,019,357: “System and method for estimating positioning error within a WLAN-based positioning system”
3. US 8,022,877: “Systems and methods for using a satellite positioning system to detect moved WLAN access points”
4. US 8,154,454: “Systems and methods for using a satellite positioning system to detect moved WLAN access points”
5. US 8,223,074: “Systems and methods for using a satellite positioning system to detect moved WLAN access points”
6. US 8,242,960: “Systems and methods for using a satellite positioning system to detect moved WLAN access points”
7. US 8,229,455: “System and method of gathering and caching WLAN packet information to improve position estimates of a WLAN positioning device”
8. US 8,054,219: “Systems and methods for determining position using a WLAN-PS estimated position as an initial position in a hybrid positioning system”
9. US 7,471,954: “Methods and systems for estimating a user position in a WLAN positioning system based on user assigned access point locations”
From the patents listed above it is clear that all the patents are for geolocation based on nearby WiFi (WLAN) access points. Thsi system also works on large buildings, generally where GPS system does not work.
Before this Google was involved in a lawsuit with Skyhook, it was facing anticompetitive and IP legal claims for forcing Android OEMs to use Google’s location services. And now, Skyhook have filed a new complaint alleging that Google is infringing nine of its patents. This time also the technology in question is geolocation technology. The aforesaid patents cover various aspects of a WLAN-based positioning system(one of them was granted after the prior lawsuit).
“We believe these claims are baseless and we intend to defend vigorously against them,” Niki Fenwick, a Google spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement.
Google has been a target for many companies in the recent past including Apple, Microsoft and others inspite of having their main interest in improving the user interface between users and internet and this is because Google have shown to the world that they are not limited to one technology and can enter and make a mark in other fields too. Google open sourced interface known as Android is quite popular and also its web browser Google Chrome is famous too. Google earns most of its income from the clicks that its site get from the internet users and for that they work continuously for the betterment of user interface. But in doing so, it have upsetted alot of giant companies and that why these patent lawsuits are following them.