Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has filed lawsuits against BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) (LON:BT), claiming that the company violated four of its patents. The suits were filed in California and the U.K.
BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) (LON:BT) originally filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in 2011. That case hasn’t been resolved yet.
The BBC reports that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s suit claims BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) (LON:BT) infringed on its method that enables computers to use a telephone system that’s based on the Internet. That patent was originally owned by Fujitsu Ltd. (TYO:6702). The company also claims that BT did not license a system that’s used to enable servers to set priorities on data. That patent was owned by International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), although it now belongs to Google.
The search giant also alleges that BT has been “arming patent trolls” and that the company has “brought several meritless patent claims” against it. Google and AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) were sued by Suffolk Technologies in 2012 in connection with two patents the company bought from BT.
Patent trolls are companies which acquire patents with the aim of being able to sue other companies in the future for infringing on those patents.
The case Google has filed against BT appears to be the first in which Google is the plaintiff in a patent case. The other cases which Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is involved in as the plaintiff involve claims by Motorola and were filed before Google acquired the company.
The next court date for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and BT is in July, when the two companies will enter into mediation for BT’s 2011 case against Google.