Google Facing Lawsuit in Germany Over Video Streaming


Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) is facing yet another lawsuit in Europe. According to PC World, Google and YouTube have been slapped with a lawsuit in Germany for allegedly infringing on a video streaming patent owned by U.S. firm Max Sound. Analysts note the case could possibly lead to a sales bans on a number of Google Android products in Europe.

Max Sound is alleging that Google and YouTube infringe on a patent for efficient transport of digital content. The company claims all products on the market that use the H.264 video compression format infringe on their patent.

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The statement from Max Sound noted that expects a decision in the case against Google within a year, and said damages could be in the millions of euros. Google has not yet responded to media inquiries.

More on the Google lawsuit in Germany

The lawsuit against Google was filed in the District Court in Mannheim, Germany, last week and relates to  Google’s Android operating system used on many phones and tablets. The complaint targets the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6 smartphones as well as the Nexus 9 tablet, the Chromebook laptop and the Chromecast, a Wi-Fi device that allows users to stream video to HDMI TVs.

The lawsuit also aims at Google’s YouTube which uses H.264 and also VP8, a codec now owned by Google. As part of the legal discovery process, Max Sound has requested information about profits and damages for each video streamed to Germany in one of these formats.

Max Sound filed a similar patent infringement suit against Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware back in August, and also sued Google in the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, alleging misappropriation of trade secrets.

Details on the patent

The Max Sound patent filing claims a technology designed to reduce the use of bandwidth when transmitting video or other data with a system that does not require data to be compressed by the sender and decompressed by the receiver. The invention uses “data optimization” to transmit only the data required for the application so that decompression of the data is not required on the receiving end.

According to Bernhard Arnold, a German intellectual property lawyer whose firm represents Max Sound, data optimization is among the technologies used in H.264 that, similar to compression, reduces the amount of data to be transmitted.

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