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Google Sued by Skyhook Wireless Over Location-ID Patents

Google Inc., the world’s largest Internet search engine and maker of the Android operating system for mobile devices, was sued by Skyhook Wireless Inc. for infringing nine patents for global positioning detection.

The lawsuit targets location-identification technology including “Google Maps” used by Google customers in products such as tablet computers, according to a complaint filed by Boston-based Skyhook yesterday in federal court in Delaware.

Mountain View, California-based Google is using the inventions “without authority or license from Skyhook,” and should pay damages after a jury trial, according to court papers. Skyhook also seeks an injunction against further infringement by Google.

“We believe these claims are baseless and we intend to defend vigorously against them,” Niki Fenwick, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement.

Location-tracking technology, which can pinpoint a person’s whereabouts, help advertisers tailor marketing messages to mobile-device users. Closely held Skyhook pioneered tracking a smartphone’s location by measuring its proximity to Wi-Fi hotspots instead of relying on global-positioning satellites or cell towers.

The case is Skyhook Wireless Inc. v. Google Inc., 12-1177, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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