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Skyhook v Google Complaint

Skyhook v Google Complaint

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Published by Dan Frommer

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Published by: Dan Frommer on Sep 15, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTSSUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT)SKYHOOK WIRELESS, INC., a Delaware )corporation, ))Plaintiff, ))v. ) Civil Action No. ______________-BLS)GOOGLE INC., a Delaware corporation, )))Defendant. ))
This is an action for intentional interference with contractual relations; intentionalinterference with advantageous business relations; and violations of Massachusetts lawprohibiting unfair and deceptive trade acts and practices stemming from Google'santicompetitive conduct and Google's bad faith, knowing and intentional interference withplaintiff Skyhook's contractual and business relations with Motorola, Inc. and other current andpotential customers. As a direct result of Google's actions, Skyhook has suffered actual damagesthat exceed tens of millions of dollars. Further, in order to prevent serious and irreparable harmto Skyhook, defendant Google must be enjoined from persisting in these wrongful acts.2.
Skyhook Wireless is an innovator of location positioning technology. As the useof mobile computing devices such as smartphones and laptops has increased, so too has demandfor mobile applications that utilize and share with others the current location of users' mobilecomputing devices. Skyhook's technology was designed to meet this growing demand, andconsistently provide accurate user location information.3.
Skyhook and Google are competitors in the location positioning space. There wasa time when Google tried to compete fairly with Skyhook. But once Google realized itspositioning technology was not competitive, it chose other means to undermine Skyhook and
- 2 -damage and attempt to destroy its position in the marketplace for location positioningtechnology. In complete disregard of its common-law and statutory obligations, and in directopposition to its public messaging encouraging open innovation, Google wielded its control overthe Android operating system, as well as other Google mobile applications such as Google Maps,to force device manufacturers to use its technology rather than that of Skyhook, to terminatecontractual obligations with Skyhook, and to otherwise force device manufacturers to sacrificesuperior end user experience with Skyhook by threatening directly or indirectly to deny timelyand equal access to evolving versions of the Android operating system and other Google mobileapplications.
Plaintiff Skyhook Wireless, Inc. ("Skyhook") is a corporation organized andexisting under the laws of Delaware with a principal place of business in Boston, Massachusetts.5.
Skyhook is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that DefendantGoogle Inc. ("Google") is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in MountainView, California. Google conducts business within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, andhas claimed that over the past year alone it generated $2.2 billion worth of economic activity inMassachusetts.
Jurisdiction is proper in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts pursuant to Mass.Gen. L. c. 223A, § 3 because Google “transacts business” in the Commonwealth.7.
Venue is proper in Suffolk County pursuant to Mass. Gen. L. c. 223, § 8(4) and c.93, § 42A because Skyhook’s principal place of business is in Boston, Suffolk County..
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONSSkyhook's Wi-Fi Positioning and XPS Technology Outperform All Competitors
Despite its size, Skyhook is an industry leader in location positioning, context,and intelligence. Founded in 2003, Skyhook pioneered the Wi-Fi Positioning System and today
- 3 -provides location information to tens of millions of mobile devices. Skyhook currently employs32 people in Boston, Massachusetts and worldwide.9.
Early location technologies – Global Positioning System (GPS) and cellular towertriangulation – suffer shortcomings that result in mobile consumers receiving slow andinaccurate location information. For example, GPS systems can take a very long time to acquirea location fix and they do not work well indoors or in dense, populated areas (if at all). Cellulartower triangulation is notoriously inaccurate, usually placing the end-user over 200 meters - andup to 5,000 meters - from their actual location. As a result, location-based applications andservices were niche products used by very few consumers and only in very specific use cases.10.
To help combat the drawbacks of these early location technologies, Skyhook pioneered locating, tracking, and using the hundreds of millions of Wi-Fi access points locatedthroughout populated areas to provide fast and accurate location information. Skyhook investedtens of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours of labor to research, develop, andperfect its innovative technology.11.
Skyhook's Wi-Fi Positioning System determines the location of a Wi-Fi enableddevice using a database of known Wi-Fi access points. Skyhook has compiled a massivereference database of the known locations of over 250 million Wi-Fi access points. To build thisdatabase, Skyhook deployed drivers painstakingly to survey streets in tens of thousands of cities,towns and populated areas worldwide, identifying Wi-Fi access points and plotting theirgeographic locations. In addition, Skyhook's database is continually improved with data that isgathered in the process of location queries. Skyhook's extensive coverage area includes mostpopulated areas in North America, Europe, Australia and in certain major Asian countries.12.
Skyhook integrates its Wi-Fi Positioning System into its proprietary XPSpositioning system ("XPS"). XPS is a hybrid positioning system that uses XPS client softwarerunning on a user's device to integrate and synthesize Skyhook's Wi-Fi Positioning System, GPSsatellite data, and cellular tower triangulation to provide faster and more accurate locationinformation than any other location technology.

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