Microsoft patent fight with Google could ban Google Maps in Germany

There are rumors that Google informally alerted the European Union about Microsoft "software error" that lead to this week's massive fine against Microsoft by the EU. Now it looks like Microsoft might get some indirect payback against Google in another case.

That case is being heard in a courtroom in Germany this week and concerns a patent that Microsoft claimed in Europe in 1996, EP0845124, on a "computer system for identifying local resources and method therefor." Microsoft says that Google is in violation of that patent with their Google Maps service.

Today, FOSS Patents reports that Google may not be able to convince the judge in this case that Microsoft's patent claim will be ruled as invalid "at the end of a parallel nullity proceeding." Because of this, Microsoft could seek, and most likely will be granted, an injunction against Google Maps in Germany.

If a judge rules in Microsoft's favor, Google will be forced to remove all access to Google Maps in Germany. That means no PC web browsers would be able to view Google Maps nor could those maps be accessed on any smartphone or tablet. Since Germany is the biggest single country in Europe in terms of population, such a ban would be a huge one for Google and its Maps service.

Source: FOSS Patents
German flag via Shutterstock

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