Microsoft sues Motorola in Germany again, claims Google Maps violates patent (update: Google involved)

Motorola isn't going to escape as cleanly as it would like from Microsoft's patent lawsuit campaign. Microsoft has sued Motorola once more in Germany, only this time it's waging a more direct fight against Motorola's owner Google. The lawsuit claims that Motorola devices violate a patent for taking map information from one set and overlaying it with data from another -- a technique that describes Google Maps, not to mention virtually every internet-connected mapping system we know. Details aren't yet available for the devices allegedly at risk, but the accusation would make it harder for Google, Motorola or both to simply code around the problem if they lose. No doubt Microsoft is counting on just that obstacle to have the RAZR maker fall in line with everyone else and take a license just for using Android.

Update: As patent case analyst Florian Mueller notes from his first-hand account, Microsoft quietly filed the lawsuit in April and received its first court hearing today. That's not the biggest news, however: Microsoft amended the lawsuit to include Google itself. While that's virtually necessary under German law to get the testimony Microsoft wants, it also means a rare (if not unique) instance of Microsoft attacking Google directly in court, rather than fighting proxy battles through Android hardware partners.