Google has countersued UK telecommunications giant British Telecom
over the use of our network-related patents. The countersuit is in retaliation over BT's original lawsuit
, which claimed Google infringed BT-owned patents in the development of Android, Google Maps, other related services, and also basic search functions.
Four patents owned by Google are claimed to be infringed by BT and its subsidiaries, with the infringed patents covering quality-of-service products and conferencing services over its IP network. Google has listed BT Conferencing, BT Americas, BT INS, and Ipanema Technologies as the infringing parties, with a court in the Central District of California receiving a filing yesterday, and one in the UK receiving one today.
Google spokesperson Niki Fenwick said that the company has "always seen litigation as a last resort, and we work hard to avoid lawsuits," in an e-mail sent to Reuters
, continuing "but BT has brought several meritless patent claims against Google and our customers, and they've also been arming patent trolls." A BT spokesperson declined to comment on pending litigation.
The original BT lawsuit, which commenced in December 2011, was issued to a Delaware court, and covered a total of six patents for telecommunications and navigation. The claimed violations were deemed "willful" by BT, and so allowed for triple damages to be potentially awarded, though this was dropped in March
in an attempt to accelerate the lawsuit.