Google has been sued in Massachusetts Superior Court by a location-based services company called Skyhook Wireless, which is accusing the “do no evil” organization of both infringing upon its patents as well as “disrupting its business relations.” Specifically, Skyhook claims that Google has used some of its proprietary technology for geolocation based on WiFi MAC addresses, known as WPS, which can provide a rough fix even in the absence of GPS or cell tower data. Moreover, Skyhook is asserting that Google strong-armed companies like Motorola to remove Skyhook’s technology from their Android handsets in favor of Google’s LBS services.
Now there are dozens of small companies who sue the big boys every day — we know them best as patent trolls — but Boston-based Skyhook is an established player in location, having reportedly logged over 100 million MAC addresses nationwide as well as having provided technology used in the first iPhone (which Apple later replaced with its own proprietary tech). With LBS seen as such an important element of the mobile ecosystem, this is just the type of lawsuit that we can see gaining legs and causing some headaches for Schmidt, Rubin, and company.
(via: Silicon Republic)