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Google Maps could face ban in Germany over patent dispute

Google Maps could be soon banned in Germany as the company is reportedly close to losing a patent lawsuit filed by rival Microsoft.

Microsoft had originally filed the lawsuit against Google's subsidiary Motorola Mobility alleging it of infringing on a key patent for technology involving a "computer system for identifying local resources" used in the Google Maps for Android app. But after Motorola argued that it has no hand in the operation of Google Maps servers, Google was added to the lawsuit.

If Google fails to convince the German court hearing the case that Google Maps does not infringe on the patent in question, it might be be forced to pull the Google Maps for Android app out of Germany. It would also need to block the service from being accessed by any device using a German IP address. The only way out for Google to continue the service in the European nation would be to pay Microsoft for the right to use the technology.

This is not the first time Google Maps has sensed trouble in Germany. The popular web based-mapping service recently came under scrutiny from the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection authorities for allegedly breaching EU privacy law through its Street View feature.