Google 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.