ADOTAS – If Google’s partnering with Verizon to stab net neutrality in the back had you questioning the search giant’s “Do no evil” mantra, the latest round of lawsuits filed against the company is really going to have you scratching your head.
In the middle of September Skyhook Wireless filed separate patent infringement and tortious interference lawsuits against Big G regarding a deal with handset-maker Motorola that Google may have played spoiler too.
Motorola signed a contract in April assigning Skyhook to install its geolocation technology, which reportedly is more accurate than Google’s offering, on Android-powered Motorola smartphones. However, the lawsuit alleges that Google representatives falsely told Motorola Skyhook’s software was incompatible with Android and that the smartphones would require Google’s location tech as well. Result: the first batch of smartphones to ship under the Motorola/Skyhook deal didn’t have the faintest trace of Skyhook’s tech.
Now why would Google do something so shifty? Well, it’s more than mere jealousy — if Skyhook’s geolocation software was employed on Motorola phones instead of Google’s, Skyhook would be the company scooping up all that precious real-time location data. In essence, Skyhook could steal a huge amount of location-based mobile ads from Google. In addition, Skyhook claims Google stole pieces of its code.
Those are some ugly allegations. It’s already estimated that Google’s mobile ad share will decrease from 27% in 2009 to 21% in 2010 (with Apple entering the space with a 21% share and tying as leader). But would the company go to such desperate lengths to hold onto that share?