By Vamien McKalin email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Mar 09, 2013 01:39 PM EST
Google is in hot water in Germany, as a judge in Munich is preparing to hand down a ruling that could see Google Maps banned in the country. This stems from a key mapping patent Microsoft claims Google Maps has infringed on, and thus the company is seeking an injunction.
Since the court case began, Google has failed to convince the court that the patent in question has nothing to do with mapping technology. Because of this, Microsoft could very well obtain an injunction, according to patent expert Florian Mueller.
If an injunction is handed down, Google will have little choice but to disable Google Maps from all computers that use a German IP address. Furthermore, Google will have to stop shipping Google Maps-equipped Android devices to Germany, a huge blow that could affect Google's bottom line at the next quarterly earnings call.
The situation could get even more dire for Google, as the company would be required to pay Microsoft royalties to use Microsoft patented technology in its mapping platform. So far, Android OEMs such as Samsung, HTC and LG have acknowledged the patent and are all paying royalties to Microsoft. Google should fall in line unless the company finds an alternative technology to use.
Originally, Microsoft only sued Motorola Mobility over the Google Maps Android application; however, things took a nasty turn when Motorola denied knowing of how Google Maps servers operated. This move forced Microsoft to add Google to the list, and as they say, the rest is history.
Judge Dr Matthias Zigann seems to be very convinced Google is in the wrong here, so it is looking highly likely an injunction is on the horizon. If Microsoft wins this round, we could be in for a huge show-down in other countries, so get your popcorn and soda ready, ladies and gentlemen, as we're in for an exciting ride.
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