Microsoft versus Motorola in Germany hits round 2, this time Google Maps and Google are involved

by: Joe HindyOctober 13, 2012

Some months ago we brought you news of Microsoft and Motorola fighting in court. It had been announced that all Motorola Android products were pulled from German shelves. After a few months of battling, the German courts changed their minds, stating that Motorola didn’t break any patents. Now, Microsoft is at it again.

In this latest chapter of Microsoft vs Motorola, Microsoft is going after Google Maps. According to Engadget, the patent in question is, “taking map information from one set and overlaying it with data from another.” This is basically what Google Maps does. For instance, changing from road view to satellite view.

What is far more interesting is that Motorola isn’t doing this one alone. The patent refers to Google Maps more than Motorola. That means that Google itself will be dropping gloves in this patent brawl. Microsoft has actually included Google itself in this latest patent suit. So it isn’t Microsoft going after Android hardware anymore. It’s Windows going after Android.


Does Microsoft have a case here?

Unfortunately, yes they do. Despite how vaguely worded the patent is, there really isn’t much wiggle room. Almost all map software violates this to some degree. This time, Microsoft is choosing to cash in.

What will be interesting to see is whether or not Google and Motorola pay the licensing fees if they lose. The only other option would be remaking Google Maps to work around the patents. That would not be an easy task.

The big story here, though, is Microsoft going directly after Android and Google. Very recently, Google passed up Microsoft in market cap value. That puts Google second overall behind only Apple. It is very highly unlikely that Microsoft included Google because of that. However, there is definitely a Clash of the Titans vibe going on that is hard to ignore.

So here we go with round two of Microsoft versus Motorola and Google in Germany. It is more like watching Godzilla fight Mothra and King Kong. Except, you know, in Germany. Should Motorola just pay the licensing fees like everyone else? Are they justified in standing up to Microsoft? We want to know what you think.

  • Todor Velichkov

    those motherf***ers %!^£&*()
    when the f***ing Micros***t will DIE!?!

  • arnieswap

    They have a case here? Joe how much do you know about patents? Please don’t give judgment on issues you don’t understand. You are doing more harm than good.

    • Thank you for your comment. If Microsoft didn’t have a case, then no one would be talking about this and the German courts would’ve thrown it out. Since everyone is talking about it and the first two court hearings were today (not to mention the courts allowed Microsoft to add Google to suit), it is not an unreasonable judgement to make. It doesn’t hurt that Microsoft is 3 wins to 1 loss against Motorola in patent lawsuits.

      I hope they don’t win, but you can’t realistically look at the patent and tell me that Google Maps doesn’t do that all day long.

      • Kevin Carr

        I wonder how much this patent can hold up under scrutiny. As you said this is something that every map app does to some extent. They should be able to find prior art on this and invalidate the whole thing.

  • Alex

    Seemingly the text is not of a Android loyalist. Joe, you should disclose all payments you got from M$ if you writing biased text.

    • Kassim

      @066f4e8be781ae6370f486be34965d75:disqus So Android ‘loyalists'(!) won’t see that this patent could very possibly have a leg to stand on and may therefore be damaging to one of our favourite apps?


      When will this blind tribalism end…

      • alex

        Yeah what do you prefer to do yourself as a solution? Buy a MS phone which would not be sued by MS for running GMaps? In the end MS will take down the app from their store purely based on their will and nobody will stop them. Giving in to MS is no help and google&samsung&co (them not us, since we cant to anything) should fight till the end.

        • Kassim

          I think you misunderstood me.

          I wasn’t arguing that “you’re wrong and Android will suffer death by a thousand paper cuts (read: patents) soon, so we should accept that it’s inevitable and move on”.


          To paraphrase, I was saying:
          “why do ‘fanboys’ lay siege to the alternative (OS) camps and at the same time strongly oppose anything they perceive to be negative against their own choice, whether opinion or fact?”. Basically, it’s the old ‘why can’t we all just get along?’ line.

          A choice for everyone and everyone to his choices…

          I have an Android phone for the freedom, the Nexus 7 for on-the-go gaming & media consumption, will hopefully buy a 10″ Windows 8 Pro tablet as a more portable extension of my laptop/desktop main PC with full desktop functionality (not any ARM pseudo-PC tablet) and if I had the money, I would buy a 27″ iMac as it’s one of the best, quality all-in-one PCs.

          I’m a fanboy only to my own needs.

          • I really wish Microsoft would pay me extra to write this stuff. To this day, my emails keep getting the seemingly automatic response of “who the hell are you and why are you emailing me?”

            It is possible I just randomly emailed one of my G+ contacts and demanded money…we’ll never know.

  • Microsoft is the worlds biggest patenttroll

    F*** Microsoft

  • Ray

    To help google on this Don’t buy MS phone support andriod..

  • Ray

    MS phone sucks….