BT Sues Google Over Patents

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BT claim patent infringements relating to Google’s Android operating system

BT sues Google:

The Google Android operating system is one of the most heavily attacked O/S’s we have covered, with litigation from Microsoft, Apple and Oracle all under way in US courts, all with varying issues relating to patents that they claim Google’s Android operating system has stolen or copied extensively.

BT Sue Google
BT Sue Google

Now we can add BT to the mix, formerly known as British Telecom, who have been in the mobile game since its birth with a side arm originally called Cellnet, under this guise they invested billions into technology and in total they now own some 5000+ mobile technology related patents, and in the last 5 years have invested over £5 billion into their mobile division.

In a statement relating to the claim, BT said:

“BT can confirm that it has commenced legal proceedings against Google Inc by filing a claim with the US District Court of Delaware for patent infringement. BT’s constant investment in innovation has seen it develop a large portfolio of patents which are valuable corporate assets. This is about protecting BT’s investment in its intellectual property rights and innovation.”

What do BT claim infringements on:

A number of areas are being looked into from BT and these include:


  • Access to mobile services and content.
  • Navigation and guidance information.
  • technology related to location-based services


Android not the only area that Google is under attack from BT:

The ramifications of these allegations for Google spread much deeper than just the Android O/S, with BT claiming that the patent issues are present in Google’s map technology, advertising platforms, and music division, as well as the Android O/S.

BT filed civil suit in Delaware court:

BT have filed their claim with a court in Delaware, claiming infringements of one or more of its six patents, and has asked that the case be trialled by jury and that unspecified damages are included.

Google claim that the proceedings are “without merit” and that it would vigorously defend itself against them.

Here is a list of the services that BT claim Google infringe from their own patents and applications:


  • Storage, retrieval and delivery of location-based activities of Google’s search engine
  • Android
  • AdMob
  • AdSense
  • Gmail
  • Google+
  • Google Maps
  • Google Offers
  • Google Location


Compensation sought from Google:

BT claim that Google have obtained a substantial benefit from these products and services, and that litigation aims to include and obtain some sort of recompense for the use of BT’s patents and applications without their consent.

Nothing new in mobile land:

The fact of the matter is that with the rise of smartphone technology being so lucrative to device manufacturers and related software owners, a patent war has broken out in almost every nook and crevice in the mobile technology industry, we have covered the issue extensively over the last 6 months, with many companies involved in serious legal challenges after rival corporations have either bought the rights to existing patents (patent trolling) or looked back at their own catalogue of patents and hoped to find some areas of similarity that they could pin point on technology or software that a rival had “copycatted” in their own design or build.

Landmark case between HTC and Apple to be finalized soon:

Android are under serious threat from Apple patents, and a new ruling could be the beginning of further issues for Google.

It is expected that The ITC (International Trade Commission) will today deliver a result on a case that has serious consequences for HTC and involves the manufacture of Android based phones, this will have implications on Google’s Android O/S which it has so far managed to avoid from previous and ongoing challenges.

Could 2012 be the year the law took down a giant?

Anthony Munns