Microsoft to add Google as defendant in German patent lawsuit

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Previously Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility was sole defendant in case.

Microsoft Corp. said Friday it will add Google Inc. as a defendant in a German patent lawsuit that so far has Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility Holdings as the sole defendant.

“It became necessary to add Google to this particular case,” said Microsoft in an emailed statement.

With such a move, Microsoft would for the first time make the parent company a defendant in the recent row of patent litigations, according to Florian Mueller, a patent law consultant who has Microsoft among his clients.

The lawsuit at the regional court in Munich is related to Google Maps. Microsoft said it wants to add Google “because Motorola maintains that it lacks sufficient information about actions occurring on Google’s servers,” which power the Android app for Google Maps. The lawsuit is about Microsoft’s patent with the number EP0845124B1 on a “computer system for identifying local resources and method therefore.”

Microsoft aims to receive a licensing fee from Motorola for usage of its patented technology.”We continue to hope Motorola will join the vast majority of Android device makers by licensing Microsoft’s patented inventions,” said Microsoft.

Google and Motorola didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.