Microsoft and Google have fighting for a while over the Redmond company’s claim that the Android mobile operating system violates its patents. But up to this point, Microsoft’s court cases and licensing negotiations have dealt with Google’s partners, the hardware vendors that make Android devices.
That will now be changing, as Microsoft adds Google as a defendant in a patent lawsuit pending in Germany against Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by the search giant earlier this year.
Microsoft confirmed the news in a statement today: “It became necessary to add Google to this particular case because Motorola maintains that it lacks sufficient information about actions occurring on Google’s servers.”
The announcement was made yesterday in court in Germany in a case involving Google Maps, according to Florian Mueller of the FOSS Patents blog, who does consulting work for companies including Microsoft.
It’s one of a series of patent disputes between Microsoft and Motorola, including a dispute in federal court in Seattle that’s headed for trial next month. Microsoft isn’t commenting beyond its statement about the German case, so it’s not clear if the company is considering adding Google to the U.S. patent case, as well.