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In California court, Google hits back against patent-infringement allegations

And so the cutthroat competition between technology companies continues: Earlier this month, Google filed a lawsuit in California against British telecom company BT Group PLC, just over a year after BT Group filed a lawsuit of its own against Google.

The issue this time pertains to Google's Motorola Mobility unit. In 2011, BT Group sued Motorola/Google, alleging that it had infringed on six mobile communications technology patents BT Group owned.

In that lawsuit, BT Group alleged that Google's Gmail mobile email service, Google Maps and Android platform all used technology that BT had protected by patents.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Google said it had tried to avoid a lawsuit, but believed BT Group's claims to be "meritless." It also accused the company of "arming patent trolls," apparently meaning it believes BT Group is providing resources and avenues for other companies to sue Google on grounds of patent infringement.

In this new lawsuit, Google has accused BT of infringing on patented Google technology that enables networking and making phone calls over the Internet.

As we have observed earlier, the fierce competition among technology companies for the time and money of consumers has gotten intense, and that has led to a plethora of lawsuits. Google, Apple, HTC, Facebook and Yahoo have all been in the news lately for issues pertaining to alleged patent infringement.

This is a trend that impacts California more than other states because so many of these companies are headquartered here and employ California residents.

We will keep an eye on this issue and report back any newsworthy details.

Source: Reuters, "Google hits back against BT with patent lawsuits," Dan Levine and Alexei Oreskevic, Feb. 13, 2013

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