Google in danger of having Maps banned in Germany

Some very interesting developments have taken place over at the German court halls. The patent dispute between Microsoft and Google/Motorola, the one that accuses the latter’s Google Maps platform of infringing on map-related patents owned by the former, seems to be heating up.

According to FOSS Patents, German courts are inclined to enforce an injunction on Google Maps in Germany, and this ban wouldn’t just affect the use of the service on mobile. Google would apparently need to unlist Google Maps in the Play Store (and possibly on other platforms) for German users, block German IP addresses from accessing Google Maps from any web browser, and if it wants to continue to distribute Chrome in Germany they must implement a filter that effectively blocks Google Maps.

Those are some pretty high stakes in a time where the likes of Microsoft, AOL and Nokia are gunning for Google’s head in the digital mapping scene. To sidestep such a huge issue Google would have to convince the courts to narrow the scope of the patent or convince the courts that no infringement is taking place, neither of which seem very likely at this point.

The only other (obvious) alternative if Google doesn’t want its maps service shutdown in those parts of the world is to pony up the same license fee that other OEMs have been paying to Microsoft for each Android device sold. Motorola obviously feels strongly against doing that considering it was them that initiated the lawsuit in Germany in the first place (though they probably felt like Microsoft was going to pull them into another battle anyway). The two will grind it out for a while yet, but it won’t be long before we get a stance from Google or Motorola (or the German courts) either way.

[thanks PhaseBurn!]

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  • Chimphappyhour

    Of course, this could all backfire on Microsoft. Google is the ONLY map service I would ever consider using. Anyone else just seems so far behind in the pack as to be lapped once or twice. If GMaps got banned here in the US, I’d just go back to my paper atlas and maps.

    • RitishOemraw

      Or you know…use a proxy?

      • bmg314

        Problem is that Joe public doesn’t know what the hell a proxy is in relation to this… they just know that they would have to use something else.

        • RitishOemraw

          Who is this Joe public of whom you speak of? *beats off galadriel*
          Yeh, well seeing as how everything is becoming more accessible I am sure that when push comes to shove even proxies will become general public friendly. Apps like “Hideman” are already pretty easy to use and could in regard to this get more publicity online when demand for it rises

  • Tony Lai

    Too bad for the germans

  • David Nguyen

    As Marie Antoinette said. ‘Let them eat cake!’ Why not. Let those moronic German ban happy, and stupid laws like the Leistungsschutzrecht. Let them use Bing map and Apple Maps and see how that goes…idiots.

    • Michael Wittmann

      You are totally right. I should suffer for the mistakes some stupid judges made, because they follow patents that originated in the great US of A.

      • Manbo

        “And Wittmann delivers a stiff uppercut! Nguyen’s statement stumbles… it looks like Wittmann has taken out its legs… AND THE OPINION FALLS! The ref is waiving off the count! WITTMANN WINS! WITTMAN WINS!”

        I believe Mr. Nguyen’s logic tree is broken.

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    They need to get a life..When was the last time you saw a Bing or Nokia maps car driving around mapping new streets? Never ever seen it

  • No_Nickname90

    Please!! This is why I’m glad I know how to change my IP address. I’d find a way to get my Google Maps.

  • Sai

    What’s the patent that’s being infringed?

    • iFollow

      it’s a patent called “Method and apparatus of not disturbing companies in coma”.

      Apple-Microsoft hate Google. They HATE Google. SIMPLY hate it.

      Because they were going to compete with JUST search engine Google peacefully, not sink because of a tech giant Google patenting Google Glass, Google Glove/Watch/Ring, creating Street View in oceans and canyons and evolving every day.

      Apple&Microsoft hate Google, because Google is innovations. It works hard.

  • Troy Mitchell

    When it comes to Google, FOSS patents is pretty much always wrong.

    He also gets paid by Microsoft.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TimMoffitt26 Tim Moffitt

    What a Crock … Another BS Patent that should NEVER have been granted.

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6240360.PN.&OS=PN/6240360&RS=PN/6240360

    Computer system for indentifying local resources

    Abstract
    A map of the area of a client computer (10) is requested from a map server
    (11). Information relating to a place of interest is requested from an
    information server (12) by the client computer (10). The information is
    superimposed or overlaid on a map image at a position on the map image
    corresponding to the location of the place of interest on the map. The
    information (or “overlay”) server (12) may contain details of, for example,
    hotels, restaurants, shops or the like, associated with the geographical
    coordinates of each location. The map server (11) contains map data, including
    coordinate data representing the spatial coordinates of at least one point on
    the area represented by the map.

    • iFollow

      one day MSFT and Apple will get what they deserve.

      their nature is ugly.
      MSFT-Apple can’t just compete, they need to hurt competition to get attention and “do evil” customers.

  • Keith Myers

    All German iOS5 users are DOOMED if they need to start using Apple Maps. Think if the iSheep

  • Rui Pereira

    When will this patent bullying stop?!
    This just kills innovation.
    They just post these processes because Google Maps is far better than the maps applications from MS and Nokia and most people use Google Maps instead of their less feature packed applications.

  • h4rr4r

    Stop print Florian’s BS.
    He is a shill and should be ignored.

  • master94

    So many Germans are gonna get lost now or if they use Apple maps drive into rivers. Oh well. Watch them come back begging Google to bring back maps. When that happens I hope Google forces them to cough up some cash

    • Ryo Cook

      So you think “the Germans” don’t want Google? Everyone uses Google. Only some creeps use Bing. And because of an asshat judge, they should all suffer and pay? What is your problem?
      Do you just hate Germans, or what is it?

  • Ryo Cook

    Please stop quoting this FOSS Patent troll writer. He was hired by Microsoft and Oracle and is bitterly biased. His sayings should not be published by anyone who considered themselves professionals.