I can’t say that I’m hardly surprised but there’s a patent dispute going on right now between Microsoft and Motorola Mobility over Google Maps, specifically over its use in Motorola Phone in Germany. Microsoft are alleging that Motorola Mobility are infringing on a patent that is used specifically in Google Maps on the devices because of database usage. The patent in question is do to with layers of data on maps, Microsoft’s patent details a manner to take map data from one source, store locations from another and say, opening times from yet another source and then put them all together across a number of layers.
Proceedings started recently in the court of Munich in Germany and Microsoft saw fit to bring Google into the mix. The software giant was already suing Motorola Mobility and its German subsidiary however, they announced in court that they were to sue Google directly as well. Microsoft said that “It became necessary to add Google to this particular case because Motorola maintains that it lacks sufficient information about actions occurring on Google’s servers,” which certainly makes a lot of sense. After all, it’s Google’s software implementation so, unfortunately, they are the ones that will have to stand up for it.
This could potentially become a very painful headache for Google because, I doubt that Google will want to – nor be able to at this point – change the underlying code beneath it all just to avoid a patent dispute with Microsoft. Luckily, it seems that Google might not have that much of a headache on their hands because Microsoft seem more than happy to accept the licensing fees from Motorola. In a statement Microsoft had this to say:
“We continue to hope Motorola will join the vast majority of Android device makers by licensing Microsoft’s patented inventions,”
Do I doubt that Microsoft will turn down fees from Google? Hell no, Microsoft will jump at the chance because when you think about it the better Android does – the more money Microsoft will make. It’s a strange cycle that Microsoft have created for themselves right now, Windows Phone continues to lag behind but the more Android devices Microsoft licensees ship, the more money they make. Is this Microsoft’s secret manner way to fund Windows Phone development? I wouldn’t doubt it.