Judge allows Skyhook lawsuit against Google to move ahead

Skyhook Wireless won its first round in its lawsuit against Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) as a Massachusetts state judge denied Google's request to either dismiss the case or grant a summary judgment.

Skyhook Wireless filed the lawsuit in September 2010 claiming that Google is infringing on patents associated with its location-finding technology based on Wi-Fi access points and interfering with contracts Skyhook had made with handset vendors such as Motorola. 

Skyhook contends that Andy Rubin, Google's vice president of engineering, called Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Jha after the vendor announced a partnership with Skyhook in April. According to Skyhook, Rubin added new requirements that made Skyhook in violation of the Android licensing terms despite the fact that Google had previously approved Skyhook's technology on Android phones. Skyhook also claims that Rubin insisted that all Android phones include both Skyhook and Google's own technology, Google Location Services.

Motorola opted to remove Skyhook's software in favor of Google's, Skyhook said in its lawsuit. Skyhook also claims that another device maker removed its technology, presumably Samsung Electronics, since the company made announcement with the handset vendor in July.

Skyhook has also filed a federal suit against Google, claiming the search giant infringes on four Skyhook patents.

As the lawsuits wind their way the courts, Skyhook has been garnering business with non-Android device makers and getting around Google's ban Skyhook by scoring deals with Android apps providers, including Priceline and CitySearch, which are integrating the company's software into their Android apps, said Skyhook CEO and founder Ted Morgan in a recent interview with FierceBroadbandWireless. Sony is incorporating the technology in its next-generation PSP, while Intel will use the software in its upcoming MeeGo mobile devices.  

For more:
- see this Network World article

Related articles:
Skyhook sues Google over WiFi location contracts and patents
Motorola jilts Google for Skyhook's location services
Samsung inks location tech deal with Skyhook Wireless