Google has sued BT, alleging the UK telecoms company has infringed on four of its patents, with cases filed in both the UK and US amid accusations that BT has been “arming patent trolls” to take on Android. The litigation follows BT’s own lawsuit against Google back in December 2011, the BBC reports, where the comms provider claimed Google Maps, Google+, and other products all infringed on as many as six BT patents.
The returning salvo concerns four patents around how files are transferred within a network, how internet telephones connect, and how VoIP is prioritized, FOSS Patents reports, and originally came from IBM and Fujitsu before Google acquired them. “BT has brought several meritless patent claims against Google and our customers” the search giant said in a statement, CNET reports, “and they’ve also been arming patent trolls.”
The patent troll reference is in connection to allegations that BT has been equipping front companies to sue multiple Android device manufacturers, including Google-owned Motorola Mobility, by selling them its patents. Google has previously claimed that BT has sold off that IP on the understanding that the new owners file suits against the company’s targets, with BT occasionally getting a slice of any royalties won.
BT, meanwhile, has declined to comment on the new Google suit, though had previously said that it was forced into court action “to recover the just compensation it is owed.” However, according to the BBC report, the telecoms firm had expected to be the target of a countersuit.
Mediation around the existing case will begin in July 2013 at a US court.