British Telecom is at it once more — virtually twelve years after their first strive, they're bringing some other huge lawsuit in opposition to an incredible American agency. Their swimsuit in 2000 demanded tens of millions for infringing upon their trademark on the hyperlink – fortunately for the Web, they have been roundly defeated that point round. This time, they're focused on Google for billions in damages.
The claimed infringements take place in parts of Google's Android operating system, including Google Maps, Google Music, the Android Market and location-based ads. They seem to relate to location based services, including navigation and guidance, particularly those that use the user's current location to deliver personalised content. For example, a movie that plays in a lower bitrate on a cellular network than on Wi-Fi would count.
This kind of technology seems to be in widespread use amongst modern mobile operating systems, including Apple's iOS, RIM's BlackBerry and Microsoft's Windows Phone, but no suits have yet appeared against these firms. This might mean that the suit is primarily for strategic reasons; Google is already being pursued in open cases from major players including Apple, Oracle, Microsoft and eBay. Indeed, handset manufacturers Samsung and HTC have successfully been sued for infringment and forced to agree to pay a license fee for each handset sold.
It's definitely a massive pie that BT is targeting; the recent estimates of Android's market penetration put it above the 40% mark, including 40 million sales per quarter and 500,000 new Android activations per day. Hopefully for Android users everywhere, this recent frivolous suit from BT will be dismissed as completely as their last attempt ten years ago.