Skyhook Wireless, a provider of location-based services, has filed suit against Google in relation to a complaint over how Google “exerts control of Android to force companies to end its partnership with Skyhook in favor of Google’s location services.”
In the beginning of the mobile location race, Skyhook had a corner on the market by building a massive database of locations by seeding data from WiFi hotspots. The company has long had partnerships with companies like Motorola, Samsung and even Apple. Now that companies like Google and Apple have taken over their own location databases as the foundation for their own location-based services, Skyhook is losing relevancy in the market.
In the suit against Google, Skyhook claims the search giant is using Android “compatibility” as an important business tool. Even though Android itself is open source, many of the core applications are still proprietary to Google — such as the Android Market, Maps, Gmail and YouTube. While any company can use Android on retail devices, they must get approval to use any proprietary apps. This so-called “control” is what Skyhook has a problem with.
Today, Google fired back in a legal filing saying “to the extent Google took any action that affected Skyhook, those actions were the lawful exercise of legitimate rights of Google and therefore are not actionable. If Skyhook suffered any damages, which is denied, then any such damages resulted solely from its own acts or omissions.”