British telco giant BT launched a surprise legal attack on Google alleging patent infringement over a wide variety of the internet giant's business including Android, Google Maps and Google+.
Virtually all of Google services are alleged to have pilfered from BT's rich patent portfolio, including Google Music, Good Docs, Google Maps, location based advertising and the Android Marketplace.
One of BT's genius inventions is the notion that a smartphone might choose whether to download a file if it was connected to the mobile network or to Wi-Fi. Another bit of high-tech BT innovation is the idea that more information might appear if you zoom in on a map.
Obviously none of these things would stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting up in the rather more sensible legal environments elsewhere including Europe and the UK. Which is doubtless why the patents were registered in the US.
Back in 2000, BT claimed that it had a patent on internet hyperlinks and demanded royalties from US internet service providers. That particularly eccentricity was thrown out but there are no guarantees that BT will not be successful in the this latest attempts to monetise the firm's large patent portfolio.
Google said: "We believe these claims are groundless and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them."