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HTC Sues Apple For Using Google Patents

HTC suing Apple claiming infringement of four of its nine patents, which it bought from Google just last week and the suit was filed in Delaware, where the Taiwanese company had already sued Apple in an entirely different filing last month. When Google closes the Motorola Mobility deal it will get 17,000 patents and that arsenal is likely to be enough for Google to open a patent candy store, will be handing out patents like Gummy Bears. These patents often cross through many hands and the innovation argument is a bit questionable…………….

 

HTC is using nine patents bought from Google to pursue new infringement claims against Apple and Google had taken ownership of the patents less than a year ago with four of the patents originating from Motorola, three from Openwave Systems and two from Palm, ccording to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. HTC now has more ammunition in its fight to fend off multiple patent-infringement claims lodged by Apple that contend phones running Google’s Android operating system copy the iPhone. Google’s involvement in aiding HTC represents a new front in an industrywide dispute over smartphone technology that has also ensnared Android customers. “That’s a bit of a game-changer,” said Will Stofega, a technology analyst at Framingham, Massachusetts-based IDC. “Google was interested in protecting its licensees with Android. It shows they need to support their customers in order to make sure the customers stick with them.” HTC sued Apple in court and filed a complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleging infringement of the patents obtained from Google. Google, which hasn’t been sued directly by Apple, has been criticized for sitting on the sidelines while its Android partners faced lawsuits. Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC, which gained attention in the U.S. by making the first phone to run Android, has defended itself partly by bringing two infringement cases against Apple at the trade commission in Washington, one submitted last year and another last month.

 

HTC also agreed to buy closely held S3 Graphics Co. less than a week after that company won a preliminary patent ruling against Apple. “Google knows that HTC is under tremendous legal pressure from Apple and clearly on the losing track,” Florian Mueller, a Munich-based consultant and intellectual property activist. “This intervention on Google’s part increases the likelihood of direct litigation by Apple against Google.” Google, which had been issued fewer than 1,000 patents as of the start of this year, had said it would build a stronger patent portfolio as a defense against intellectual property lawsuits. It made good on that promise last month when it agreed to spend $12.5 billion to buy Motorola Mobility, acquiring more than 17,000 patents. HTC sued Apple in federal court in Delaware, claiming infringement of four of the patents obtained from Google and originally issued to Motorola before it split into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions Inc. Google acquired one of the patents in October, two in February and one in March. The lawsuit contends the Mac computer, iPhone, iPod, iPad, iCloud and iTunes are infringing patents for a way to upgrade software wirelessly; a way to transfer data between a microprocessor and a support chip; a method to store user preferences, and a way to provide consistent contact between application software and a radio modem. HTC also amended a complaint with the trade commission, adding five of the former Google patents to a case that targets many of the same products. Three of those patents Google bought from Openwave and two others had been owned by Palm, which was acquired by HP. HTC and Apple are part of a struggle among smartphone makers looking to fight copycats and thwart competition in a market projected by researcher IHS Inc. to be $206.6 billion this year. In addition to HTC’s three complaints, Apple won a case in July in which a commission judge determined that some HTC Android devices infringed two patents. Apple has another complaint, filed in July, that also targets HTC’s Flyer tablets.

 

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