updated 03:05 pm EDT, Mon March 12, 2012
BT tries to fast track Android lawsuit
UK phone giant BT has tried to accelerate its lawsuit versus Google over Android patents by reducing the scope of its patent claims. In addition to opposing a Google objection to the claims that it intentionally violated patents, BT in a motion filed Friday but discovered now that simultaneously dropped the demand for tripled damages that was creating the stumbling block. The opposition notice argued that Google's complaints were now moot and that the lawsuit should go ahead.
In drafting the notice, BT added that it wanted permission to bring back accusations of deliberate violation if discovery yielded proof of intentional misuse of the patents.
The strategy could be a way for BT to achieve the best of both worlds, reducing any immediate objections but leaving the possibility of extracting the full penalty from Google in mid-trial. The court hasn't responded, but might object to what could be an attempt to skirt normal procedure.
Its move if granted would still force Google to confront the patent lawsuit earlier and see it pay millions of dollars or more in a settlement or through licensing fees. Google has been facing patent issues on multiple fronts, including an Oracle lawsuit and often disputed Microsoft claims that Android inherently uses its patents. Google has been trying to keep Android free to license, but losing to at least BT and Oracle could see it paying large royalties of its own and possibly passing these on to the devices. [via Florian Mueller]