Skyhook Motion For Preliminary Injunction Shot Down in Lawsuit Against Google; CEO Still Hopeful in Case

1/27/11Follow @xconomy

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judge canceled the hearing, according to Morgan. Skyhook, which makes money on licensing contracts, has also sought monetary damages from Google and has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, claiming that Google’s location-finding technology infringes on four patents that Skyhook owns surrounding technology that enables mobile devices to determine their locations based on their proximity to mapped Wi-Fi networks.

The implications are big for the winner in both these cases, as the company that gets its location-finding technology into phones also stands to benefit from the loads of consumer data the technology generates. Other companies focused on targeted mobile ads are willing to pay for the data, which provides information on where mobile phone users are and what they are doing.

“It is the first inning of a long game unfortunately,” Morgan says of the case. “I just hope this situation doesn’t scare off new entrepreneurs from starting companies because they fear how big platform players will react to their success.” Skyhook has previously stated that Google’s action to make its own Location Services the dominant location-finding technology in Android phones contrasts with the open-source ethos it has touted for its Android project.

Morgan is still hopeful at this point, despite the web of legal proceedings that remains. “As far as I am told, it is extremely rare for a judge to approve an injunction this early and the fact that she even considered it shows how seriously she is taking the case,” he says. “In the end a jury decides, and we are pretty confident that the truth will come out.”

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