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Google battles BT in patent row

Google has launched legal action against BT, accusing the British firm of four counts of patent infringement

Google has launched legal action against BT, accusing the British firm of four counts of patent infringement.

In an unusual move for Google, which as a company publicly speaks out against the growing number of patent cases in the technology industry, the firm claimed it had no choice but to launch the cases following a similar attack by BT in December 2011.

BT had previously accused the internet giant of infringing six patents concerning location-based services, navigation and guidance information and personalised access to services and content. Despite this case being filed more than a year ago at a court in Delaware, a mediation hearing is not expected until July this year, with formal proceedings coming even later.

Google is filing two cases – one in the US and one in the UK – concerning four patents it claims are being infringed that focus on internet communications.

“We have always seen litigation as a last resort, and we work hard to avoid lawsuits,” said a Google spokesman. “But BT has brought several meritless patent claims against Google and our customers, and has also been arming patent trolls. When faced with these kinds of actions, we will defend ourselves.”

Computer Weekly contacted BT for comment, but a spokesman said it was the company’s policy not to comment on pending litigation.


Image: Thinkstock

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