Skyhook wins early round in lawsuit against Google

Skyhook Wireless will be allowed to go forward with its Massachusetts lawsuit against Google, charging the search giant with trying to muscle Skyhook's Wi-Fi location technology out of the Android market. A state judge this week denied Google's request to either dismiss the case or grant a summary judgment.

Skyhook is a Boston-based company which developed, and patented, a way to use radio signals from Wi-Fi access points to pinpoint the location of Wi-Fi devices such as smartphones. The Wi-Fi data is synthesized with GPS and cell tower locations. The access point locations are kept in a database, which is used to confirm the client's location. It can be faster, more reliable, and more accurate than relying on cell phone towers or GPS alone. The technology was included in the original Apple iPhone.

IN THE NEWS: Lawmakers quiz Apple, Google about location tracking

The company has filed two lawsuits against Google. One, a federal suit filed in September 2010, says Google is infringing four Skyhook patents. The second is a state suit, filed in Suffolk County Superior Court. This suit claims that Google used its relationship with handset makers, specifically Motorola, to keep the Skyhook client software off their phones.

"Google and Skyhook were partners in the location-based services, after the companies signed a deal in April for Google's Android operating system to use software made by Skyhook to pinpoint users for location-based apps on the Droid line of phones made by Motorola Inc.," according to a MassHighTech.com story on this week's ruling.

Skyhook CEO Ted Morgan was quoted in the article as saying, "I think this is a big milestone in the overall time line because Google has really resisted going into the next phase of full discovery. They have been holding back on providing the documentation the court has been asking for and they have asked to dismiss the case outright."

In its state court filings, Skyhook alleges that Andy Rubin, a Google vice president who oversees Android, called Motorola Co-CEO Sanjay Jha "multiple times" to stop the company from shipping Android-based devices running the Skyhook client, according to MassHighTech.

Skyhook has had a string of customer wins so far this year: Priceline and CitySearch are integrating the software into their Android apps; Intel will use it on its upcoming MeeGo mobile device products; and Sony is incorporating it into its next-generation gaming system, due out by year-end.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww

Email: john_cox@nww.com

Blog RSS feed: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/2989/feed

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleWi-FiGoogleNetworkingwirelessSkyhookWLANs / Wi-Fi

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Cox

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?