Skyhook is suing Google over its patents on location technology and alleged interference with two major contracts, according to two separate complaints filed in Massachusetts courts.
Skyhook says Google cost the company tens of millions of dollars when it ordered Motorola and “Company X” to stop shipping Android-based devices loaded with Skyhook’s location technology, which competes with a similar technology used in Android.
According to the complaint, Google CEO Andy Rubin called Motorola device chief Sanjay Jha with a “stop ship” order for the devices loaded with Skyhook’s technology.
Skyhook says Google based its order on false claims that Skyhook’s technology would make the phones incompatible with its Android operating system. Skyhook also claims Google forced Motorola to modify Skyhook’s XPS platform to inaccurately inform users that the technology collected personally identifiable data.
The complaint also alleges that Google tried to make Motorola run its location service and Skyhook’s XPS simultaneously on all Android device, which would require a technical overhaul and create major power management issues. Skyhook declined to comply with Google’s demand, and Google persisted in its stop ship order, forcing Motorola to ship its devices without Skyhook’s XPS technology, the company claims.
Skyhook had a similar experience with “Company X,” which it announced a partnership with on July 2. Skyhook did not specifically name Samsung in its complaint but had announced a partnership with Samsung on July 2.
Samsung was coerced into dropping Skyhook’s location technology in favor of Google’s in a matter similar to Motorola, Skyhook says.
A Google spokesman said the company had not yet been served with the lawsuit and could not comment until it had reviewed the complaint.
Skyhook also filed a complaint claiming Google’s location-based services and Wi-Fi location database infringe on four of its patents related to technology used to determine the location of cell phones.
The company has asked that Google be enjoined from further infringing its patents and that damages, if awarded, be tripled because of the “willful nature” of the infringement.
In the contract case, Skyhook has asked for a jury trial, three-fold damages and a permanent injunction on Google that would prohibit it from further interfering in Skyhook’s contracts.
Filed Under: Industry regulations