Google Maps Might Be Banned In Germany Over Patent Infringement

Google Maps iconGoogle Maps may be banned in Germany as the result of a patent infringement lawsuit underway at a regional court in Germany.

As FOSS Patents reports, Judge Matthias Zigann told Google today that he’s inclined to hold the company liable for infringing a Microsoft patent that describes a “computer system for identifying local resources and method therefor.” The judge reportedly called the patent, which describes how map data and local search results can be combined, a “big idea.”

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents explains the possible ramifications if the judge sides with Microsoft, as expected:

Microsoft is seeking, and now very likely to obtain, a German patent injunction against the Google Maps service, the Google Maps Android client app, and web browsers providing access to Google Maps. In order to comply with the injunction that looms large, Google would have to disable access to Google Maps from computers using a German IP address, discontinue shipping the Google Maps Android app in the German market, and distribute web browsers in Germany only if they block access to Google Maps in a way comparable to Internet filters used for the purpose of parental controls.

The case in question is a Microsoft countersuit against Google’s Motorola subsidiary, which had previously filed four lawsuits in Germany against Microsoft.

There’s a separate case in progress that may lead to the Microsoft patent being ruled invalid, but that doesn’t appear to have any bearing on this case at the moment.

A final decision is expected in May.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Legal | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Outside US | Legal: Patents | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Martin Fasani

    I would love to see the maps disappearing from google results since each day we have less natural results and more advertising marquee above the fold. Please Google, bring back some natural results, why all these care about cleaning the link networks and such if we can’t even see organic results without scrolling down ?

    The same bourgeoisie as the one that is buying luxury floors and destroying cities historic heritage, it seems that more and more advertising over result page has no limits. I say, bring on Anarchy!

  • Sandeep Pattanaik

    Martin you are right.

  • diogo oliveira

    Martin, you know that you are not forced to use google… give a try

    Disclaimer: I love using google, and I love goole maps, and I hope this silly process will have the end it deserves.

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