British Telecom Sues Google Over Android (Report)

BT claims Google's Android mobile operating system infringes a number of the company's patents.

LONDON - British Telecom is claiming billions of dollars of damages from Google in a lawsuit filed in the U.S., which says that the Android mobile operating system infringes a number of the telecoms company's key patents, according to the Guardian.

The lawsuit, filed in the state of Delaware, relates to six patents which BT says are infringed by the Google Maps, Google Music, location-based advertising and Android Market products on Android.

If successful, the suit could mean that Google or mobile handset makers will have to pay BT royalties on each Android handset in use and which they produce.

That could be expensive: Android is presently the most successful smartphone platform in the world, with its handsets making more than 40 percent of sales, equating to more than 40 million produced every quarter. Google recently said that more than 500,000 Android devices are activated every day.

BT's move – which could also be repeated in Europe – means that Google is now fending off lawsuits against Android from six large publicly-traded companies, according to Florian Müller, an independent expert who follows the twists and turns of international patent litigation. BT joins Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, eBay and Gemalto, a digital security company.

A BT spokesman told the Guardian: "BT can confirm that it has commenced legal proceedings against Google by filing a claim with the U.S. District Court of Delaware for patent infringement.

"The patents in question relate to technologies which underpin location-based services, navigation and guidance information and personalised access to services and content. BT's constant investment in innovation has seen it develop a large portfolio of patents which are valuable corporate assets."

A Google spokesman said: "We believe these claims are without merit, and we will defend vigorously against them."