Location software maker Skyhook Wireless filed separate patent infringement and tortious interference lawsuits against rival Google, which it claimed interfered with its business agreement with Motorola.
Skyhook Wireless, a maker of software that helps
determine the location of cell phones, filed separate patent infringement and tortious
interference lawsuits against rival Google.
Skyhook's software enables cell towers, GPS technologies
and WiFi location databases to talk to each other to help pinpoint the location
of a mobile device, such as a smartphone.
Google makes similar technology for its location-based
services such as Google Maps and Google Latitude.
The search engine also makes the
technology available to makers of phones based on Google's Android operating
system. Google believes location-based technologies will fortify its mobile online
In the interference suit, filed in Massachusetts Superior
Court, Skyhook claimed Google costs it tens of millions of dollars by trying to
cut in on its contract with Motorola, which makes smartphones that leverage
Motorola, which makes and sells smartphones based on
Google's Android operating system, agreed to use Skyhook's XPS location
technology in April.
When Google Vice President of Engineering Andy Rubin learned
of this, according to the suit, he called Motorola Co-CEO Sanjay Jha to impose
a "stop ship" order, preventing Motorola from shipping Android
wireless devices featuring Skyhook's XPS software.
Rubin claimed that using XPS in Android phones would make
them incompatible. Motorola ended up shipping its Motorola Droid X smartphone
in mid-July using Google's location software instead of the Skyhook XPS technology.