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British Telecom is suing Google for patent infringement

Posted at 19 December 2011 21:35 CEST by etdragon

UK telecom company British Telecom (BT) has filed a lawsuit claiming that pretty much all of Google’s products and services infringe on one of six patents owned by the communications giant. From the information that has surfaced, it seems that BT just might have a case against Google.

BT is a very large communications company, providing services in over 170 countries. The company generated a large number of patents in both the 80s and 90s, with the total number coming in over 10,000.

The company is claiming that Google is infringing on six total patents in this suit and it seems that they may have a case. Most of the language in these six patents is incredibly broad and generic. One example is patent 6,397,040, describing services that use your location to provide a list of options or sources. This is something Google does constantly with their location based search services.

Foss Patents details all six patents that BT has listed. BT is claiming “ongoing and pervasive” patent infringement because they feel Google’s services and products (like Android) have continually infringed on the six patents.

From the language in these patents it seems that other companies could easily be the target of a similar suit. One good example is the “Busuioc Patent” which discusses ways in which a device can detect the type of network it is connected to and adjust data streaming accordingly. In theory, this would apply to Apple as well as Google, but currently BT isn’t pursuing a suit against Apple.

It would stand to reason that if BT was successful against Google they could shift their focus over to Apple. If the telecom company has any legal success, they could be due billions in royalties. Considering the language of these patents this case is definitely worth keeping track of.

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There are 9 comments

paulw2
MyCE Senior Member
Posted on: 20 Dec 11 09:11
    Aren't these guy the same ones who sued for hyperlink patent a couple of years ago??
    olyteddy
    Senior Moderator
    Posted on: 20 Dec 11 16:35
      And shouldn't Al Gore be suing them all?
      cholla
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 20 Dec 11 16:46
        I didn't check out the patents but from what was written . Those patents should never have been granted. The one in the article is too broad & generic.
        I mean don't most retail stores "use your location to provide a list of options or sources" ? I bet stores in my area stock & sell a lot more cowboy boots & other similar clothing than the do in Hawaii or England . So should BT be suing all retailers that do this or is doing this simply good business & they way its been for centuries ?
        For example why don't I apply & be given a patent on the color red . So anyone that uses red in any way has to pay me royalty.
        olddancer
        MyCE Senior Member
        Posted on: 20 Dec 11 20:19
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by cholla
          I didn't check out the patents but from what was written . Those patents should never have been granted. The one in the article is too broad & generic.
          I mean don't most retail stores "use your location to provide a list of options or sources" ? I bet stores in my area stock & sell a lot more cowboy boots & other similar clothing than the do in Hawaii or England . So should BT be suing all retailers that do this or is doing this simply good business & they way its been for centuries ?
          For example why don't I apply & be given a patent on the color red . So anyone that uses red in any way has to pay me royalty.
          Interesting concept, I'll get my Lawyer right on filing a patent on Cyan, Magenta and of course Yellow. Now the question is, who do I sue first?
          Arachne
          Senior Administrator & Reviewer
          Posted on: 21 Dec 11 17:18
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by paulw2
            Aren't these guy the same ones who sued for hyperlink patent a couple of years ago??
            Yep, one and the same

            Perhaps profits were lower than they'd like last quarter.
            Dee
            Senior Administrator and Reviewer
            Posted on: 21 Dec 11 18:09
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Arachne
              Yep, one and the same

              Perhaps profits were lower than they'd like last quarter.
              Probably.
              Weren't they making £19 million profit per day at one stage?

              All that, and they can't even bring me FTTP.
              mciahel
              Senior Moderator
              Posted on: 21 Dec 11 21:10
                Quote:
                Originally Posted by olddancer
                Interesting concept, I'll get my Lawyer right on filing a patent on Cyan, Magenta and of course Yellow. Now the question is, who do I sue first?
                Magenta is already patented by Deutsche Telekom. The "T-" also.

                Michael
                Wombler
                Administrator & Reviewer
                Posted on: 21 Dec 11 21:13
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Dee
                  All that, and they can't even bring me FTTP.
                  I'd settle for the FTTC which they've been promising me since September 2010.

                  Every time I get near the upgrade date for the cabinet it keeps getting pushed back (currently the end of April 2012).


                  Wombler
                  Arachne
                  Senior Administrator & Reviewer
                  Posted on: 22 Dec 11 18:24
                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by Wombler
                    Every time I get near the upgrade date for the cabinet it keeps getting pushed back (currently the end of April 2012).
                    Sounds like the promised upstream boost for our area from Virgin. These telecoms providers/ISPs all need their heads banging together it seems.

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