Google Maps may be banned in Germany

Judge 'inclined' to punish Google for infringing Microsoft patent relating to local search

It is looking increasingly likely that Google Maps may be banned in Germany, after the Judge overseeing the legal battle between Microsoft and Google stated he's 'inclined' to ban the service.

According to various reports, the Judge said that he believes Google should be held responsible for infringing one of Microsoft's patents. The patent in contention is for a "computer system for identifying local resources and method therefor".

Explaining the potential ramifications, FOSS Patents explained: "Judge Dr. Zigann, the judge presiding over the chamber (panel of judges) hearing this case, said that this patent, which has an August 1995 priority date, covers a "big idea" (the combination of search results with map data) that deserves a "construction commensurate with said big idea".

"Microsoft is seeking, and now very likely to obtain, a German patent injunction against the Google Maps service, the Google Maps Android client app, and web browsers providing access to Google Maps. In order to comply with the injunction that looms large, Google would have to disable access to Google Maps from computers using a German IP address, discontinue shipping the Google Maps Android app in the German market, and distribute web browsers in Germany only if they block access to Google Maps in a way comparable to Internet filters used for the purpose of parental controls."

The final decision will be made the next two months, according to Gizmodo.

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