One-Two Punch: Skyhook Wireless Takes On Google In Two Lawsuits

GPS Google

Boston-based Skyhook filed a complaint against Google in Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts in which it claims that Mountain View, Calif.-based Google leveraged its relationships with mobile device makers like Motorola to gain better positioning in the growing GPS market. Skyhook also said Google forced Skyhook's own GPS wares out of the market.

According to Skyhook's complaint, the two companies once teamed up for location-based services and inked a deal earlier this year in which Skyhook's software would be used in location-based applications on the Google Android-based line of Motorola Droid smartphones. But Skyhook claims that Google soured that deal. The complaint alleges that Google Vice President Andy Rubin contacted Motorola Co-CEO Sanjay Jha and demanded the Skyhook service be removed from Motorola devices and said that Skyhook's technology would make the smarpthones incompatible with Google Android.

The suit goes on to claim that along with Motorola, Google took a similar tack with another unnamed mobile device maker.

"Skyhook and Google are competitors in the location positioning space. There was a time when Google tried to compete fairly with Skyhook. But once Google realized its positioning technology was not competitive, it chose other means to undermine Skyhook and damage and attempt to destroy its position in the marketplace for location positioning technology," the suit states.

Sponsored post

In the suit, Skyhook said Google's ability to strong-arm device makers gives the company an unfair edge in the mobile GPS market.

"In complete disregard of its common-law and statutory obligations, and in direct opposition to its public messaging encouraging open innovation, Google wielded its control over the Android operating system, as well as other Google mobile applications such as Google Maps, to force device manufacturers to use its technology rather than that of Skyhook, to terminate contractual obligations with Skyhook, and to otherwise force device manufacturers to sacrifice superior end-user experience with Skyhook by threatening directly or indirectly to deny timely and equal access to evolving versions of the Android operating system and other Google mobile applications," Skyhook continues in the complaint.

In the patent infringement suit, filed in U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, Skyhook claims that Google is infringing on four of its Wi-Fi and location-based technology patents.

Skyhook is seeking an injunction on Google's patent infringement activity and seeking millions of dollars in damages, the suits indicate.