Google Files Patent Lawsuits Against BT

Google Inc filed a patent lawsuit against BT Group PLC on Wednesday more than a year after the British telecommunications group launched its own lawsuit against Google.

BT sued Google in 2011 over six patents related to mobile technology. In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in California, Google returned the favor by asserting four patents of its own.

Nick Fenwick, a spokeswoman for Google, stated that the company also filed a separate lawsuit against Britain’s dominant fixed-line telecom group in a UK court, reports Reuters. Fenwick added:

“We have always seen litigation as a last resort, and we work hard to avoid lawsuits. But BT has brought several meritless patent claims against Google and our customers — and they’ve also been arming patent trolls.”

Yahoo! News notes that BT has accused Google in the past of infringing their mobile patents through numerous products, including the company’s extremely successful Android platform, Gmail email service, and Google Maps. The lawsuit is currently pending in a Delaware court.

Google’s lawsuit alleges that BT violates Google patents that cover technology like networking and making phone calls over the internet. A government database shows that the company obtained at least one of the patents in question during a lawsuit from International Business Machines Corp in 2010.

A representative for BT has said that the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Google’s accusation about “arming patent trolls” refers to Suffolk Technologies, which filed a lawsuit against the company for patent infringement.

It is not clear what damages Google is seeking in its patent lawsuit against BT.

[Image by Coolcaesar (Googleplexwelcomesign.jpg) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons]