updated 09:16 pm EDT, Tue July 2, 2013
Latest salvo of legal filings from geolocation firm accused Brin of misconduct
Documents in Skyhook's third legal action against Google have surfaced, accusing Google co-founder Sergey Brin of disparaging the company in discussions with Apple in the early days of geolocation on Apple's iPhone. Skyhook believes that Brin "had discussions with Apple representatives about Apple's announcement regarding Skyhook's location technology and Google's displeasure with it."
In its court filings, Skyhook claims that "having apparently disparaged Skyhook's technology to Apple, Google proceeded to then launch the same Wi-Fi based location technology by infringing Skyhook's patents. Thus, Mr. Brin's statements and documents may be relevant to Google's willful infringement, because they would show Google's awareness of Skyhook's technology at the highest echelons of the company. Mr. Brin's statements and actions may also be relevant to non-obviousness of Skyhook's patents if in fact Mr. Brin disparaged the same methodology that Google soon after employed and monetized."
Skyhook has asked for Brin's deposition, but so far, is settling for a search of the co-founder's documents with a limited selection of search terms. Notably absent is a filing from Skyhook claiming that Brin's remarks in 2008's MacWorld Expo caused Apple to drop the Skyhook implementation from the iPhone in 2010.
Skyhook Wireless alleges willful infringement, given existing business relationships in place in 2006 and 2007. The previous lawsuits against Google showed that a set of messages from the ongoing Skyhook lawsuit against Google may have supported Skyhook's claims that Google was abusing its control over Android to shut out competing services. Google engineers were reportedly worried that it would cut off the improvement of Android's location database accuracy and looked like it began seeding concerns about compatibility primarily in a bid to force Skyhook out.