On Friday, Microsoft Corp announced that it is planning to ad Google Inc as a defendant in its actions against Motorola in Germany, marking the first time the two giant tech companies would come into direct legal conflict over the Android mobile software.
Though Microsoft has been alleging all along that Google’s Android infringes its software patents, so far, it has brought actions only against handset makers rather than against Google for patent royalties.
Over the issue of Android related copyrights, already many hardware companies have settled with Microsoft, except Motorola, which Google bought earlier this year. Currently, Motorola is fighting Microsoft in the courts of both United States and Germany over a host of patent issues.
On Friday, Microsoft said in a court in Munich that it would be adding Google as a defendant in a case in which Microsoft alleges that a mapping feature on Motorola phones infringes a patent held by Microsoft.
In an e-mailed statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “it became necessary to add Google to this particular case because Motorola maintains that it lacks sufficient information about actions occurring on Google’s servers. Google indicated that it would be defending itself as befits the situation.
On Google’s part, Google’s Deputy General Counsel Allen Lo said in an emailed statement, “We want to focus on innovation, not litigation, but we’ll vigorously defend against any amended complaint Microsoft files.”
The patent in question allows a mobile device to collate the resources from two independent databases and overlay them.