Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) on Wednesday filed a lawsuit charging that BT (NYSE: BT) infringed on four of its patents, contradicting its previous stance that suing other companies over patents is an "attack on innovation."
According to a Foss Patents report, three of the patents were acquired from IBM (NYSE: IBM). Two of these patents were focused on "reserving system resources to assure quality of service" while the third relates to "connection capacity reassignment in a multi-tier data processing system network." The fourth patent, which addresses how to make calls over the Internet, was originally a Fujitsu patent.
Filed in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, the suit comes after BT itself sued Google in 2011 over six mobile technology patents. In that initial suit, which is still pending in a Delaware federal court, BT claimed Google violated its mobile patents through numerous products, including the Android mobile platform, Gmail email service and Google Maps.
The Internet search giant also filed a separate lawsuit against the UK-based incumbent telco in a U.K. court.
"We have always seen litigation as a last resort, and we work hard to avoid lawsuits," Google spokeswoman Niki Fenwick told Reuters. "But BT has brought several meritless patent claims against Google and our customers--and they've also been arming patent trolls."
In the suit, Google names BT Americas Inc., BT Conferencing Inc., BT Ins Inc. and Ipanema Technologies Corporation as defendants.
BT and Google aren't the only technology vendors engaged in patent suits. U.S.-based telcos AT&T (NYSE: T), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN) are being sued by Intellectual Ventures, a patent holding company, over violating various DSL patents.
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