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Google Skyhook (State) -PI Decision

Google Skyhook (State) -PI Decision

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Published by: JasonTC on May 06, 2011
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05/06/2011

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/J&r;
COMMONWEALTHOF)VlASSACHUSETTS
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SKYHOOKWIRELESS,INC.SUPERIORCOURTCIVILACTIONNO.2010-ll3652-BLS
r
SUFFOLK,ss.
vs,
GOOGLE,INC.MEMORANDUMOFDECISION
AND
ORDER
ON
PLAINTIFFSKYHOOK'SMOTION
FORPRELIMINARY
INJUNCTIONINTRODUCT~ON
,(-('{'I
SkyhookandGooglecompetewithrespecttosoftwareforpositioningfunctionsin
('-:;'"/t
:Yl
1,.1....-1"
~--tm!l'tlobiledevicesusingtheAndroidoperatingsystem.SkyhookclaimsthatGooglehasimpro~erly--
l~~
nterferedwithSkyhook'scontractualrelationswithoriginalequipme~tmanufacturers.Skyhook-:
-r
seeksapreliminaryinjunctiontopreventfurthersuchconduct.Afterhearing,andreviewofallmaterialssubmitted,theCourtdeclinestoissueaninjunctionatthistime.BACKGROUNDAttheriskofoversimplificationastotechnicalaspectsofthedispute,andwithintentionalopacitytoprotectinformationthepartieshavedesignatedasconfidential,theCourtsummarizesthefactsbasedonthematerialssubmitted.
1
UndercontractswithGoogle,certain.
~I
originalequipmentmanufacturers,includingMotorolaandanotherentitythatthepartieshave
-.
-
referredtoascompanyX,produceandmarketAndroid-basedmobiledevices.'Suchdevices'Thepartieshaveengagedinexpediteddiscoverybasedonastipulatedprotectiveorder,andeachhasdesignatedmanyofthematerialsproduced,aswellastranscriptsofdepositiontestimony,asconfidential.TheCourthasallowedaseriesofmotionstoimpoundvariousmaterialsfiled.2"Android"isanopen-sourceoperatingsystemformobiledevices,andacorrespondTgopen-sourceprojectledbyGoogle.ThenameisatrademarkofGoogle;Googleauthorizesitsuseundercontractswithmanufacturers.
I
 
Skyhookv.Google
includeasetofpopularGoogleapplications,knownasGoogleMobileServices(GMS).AmongthoseapplicationsareGoogle'spositioningsystem,knownasGoogleLocationService,orGS.Androiddevicesalsohavethecapacitytodownloadanduseapplicationscreatedbyindependentdevelopersandobtairiedthroughtheso-called"AndroidMarket,"whichGoogleoperates.Google'scontractswithmanufacturersrequirethatthedevicesbe"Androidcompatible,"meaning(atleastforpresentpurposes)thatnoothersoftwareonthedeviceimpairstheoperIOnofGMS.Googlereservestoitselftherighttodeterminecompatibility,anddeniesAndroidcertificationifitfindsnon-compliance.Google'spublishedstandardsofcompatibility
incluc
ebothobjectiveandsubjectiveaspects.DenialofAndroidcertificationpreventsthemanufac~er.frommarketingthedeviceundertheAndroidnameandincl~dingGoogle'sapplications,andi,.
,
~
-
.
wouldpreventauserfromobtainingaccesstoapplicationsthroughtheAndroidMarket.As
a
practicalmatter(andperhapsasamatterofcontractbetween.manufacturersandservicecarriers),suchdenialwouldrenderthedevicesunmarketable.Skyhookmakesasoftwareproduct,knownasXPS,whichperformspositioningfuncions
I
usingacombinationofdatafromwirelessnetwork("wi-fi")accesspoints,satellites,andcellulartowertriangulation.Bythecombineduseofthosethreesources,
XPS
isabletoprovidepositioningdataevenwhensatellitedataisunavailable.XPSthusfunctionsinlocationswhresatellite-basedpositioningsystemsdonot,andfunctionsfasterthanthosesystems
in
somelocations.Dataobtainedfromwi-fiandcellulartowersources,however,tendtobelessaceratethansatellite-baseddata.BothXPSandGoogle'sGLScollectlocationdatafromthedeviceandtransmitthatbacktothesoftwaremaker;eachcompanyincorporatesthatdataintoitsdatabase,onwhiche
2
o
 
Skyhookv,Coogle
positioningsoftwarereliesforitsoperation.GooglealsousesthedatainconnectionwithotIerapplicationsintheGMSset.Inaccuraciesinthedataretumedbythedeviceaffecttheoverall
I
qualityofthedatabase,whichaffectsoperationoftheotherGMSapplicationsaswellasthepositioningsystem...InSeptember0[2009,SkyhookenteredintoacontractwithMotorola,underwhichSkyhookanticipatedthatMotorolawouldincorporateXPSintoitsdevices.ThecontractprovidedthatXPSwouldbetheonlysoftwareonthedevicethatwouldcollectandtransmitpositioningdatabacktothesoftwaremaker.Thecontractalsoprovided,however,thatMotorola'suseofXPSwouldbesubjecttoitspre-existing10ntractualobligationstothirdpLies
.I
-thatis,toGoogle,aswellasservicecarriers.'.
I....
Overaperiodofseveralmonthsafterexecutionofthecontract,SkyhookandMotoroladiscussedquestionsofAndroid-compatibility.AfocusoftheirdiscussionwaswhetherXPSwasincompatiblebecauseitwouldreportdataderivedfromwi
-f
andcellularsourcesasifitdefedsolelyfromsatellitesources.ByApril,Skyhookbelievedthattheissuehadbeenresolved,basedontheirmutualconclusion
that
thataspectofXPSwouldnotrenderitincompatible.NeithejhadconsultedGoogleonthequestion.SkyhookpubliclyannounceditscontractwithMotorolainApril,2010.Thefollowingmonth,Googledet~rminedthatXPSrenderedtheMotoroladevices110tAndrOid-COmpatibleJandsoinformedMotorola.Inane-mailtoMotorola,datedMay27,2010,aGooglemanager
I
explainedtheproblem.Hecommentedthat"wearedefinitelynotaskingyoutoremoveSkyhook...ifwecandoitinacompatibleway,byallmeanslet'sdoit!"Heemphasized,however,thatGooglewouldnotaccept"network-derivedlocationdata...thatisadvertisedas3

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