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.