When it comes to patents in the mobile world, I’m not sure who isn’t suing who, nor can I barely keep up with who is suing who. Now we need to throw British Telecom (BT) into the mix as they are going after Google for patent infringement.
BT is alleging that some of Google products and services infringe upon one or more of six of its patents. Android is considered one of those services and specifically as it relates to search, music, maps, and location-based advertising. For example, BT is stating that Google Music and Android violated U.S. Patent No. 6,151,309. This patent is “directed to systems and methods for accessing content in a mobile environment where network constraints vary across networks”.
BT filed for an injunction in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware this past Thursday. The damages are unspecified, but could be tripled if it’s found that Google’s alleged infringement was willful and deliberate.
Florian Mueller of Foss Patents is also saying that if Google is forced to pay royalties with this suit or from any of the other suits, they could pass the cost on to device makers. In other words, they would change their “free” Android licensing model.
I have stated numerous times that these patent suits only stifle innovation and create unnecessary costs to the consumer. The system needs a serious overhaul.