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HTC sues Apple for third time over patents it obtained from Google

post #1 of 71
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HTC this week used nine patents recently obtained from Google to up the ante in its high-stakes intellectual properly infringement war with Apple, slapping the iPhone maker with a third lawsuit while amending a previous complaint to allege broader infringement.

According to Bloombergs assessment of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records, the nine patents that were transferred to HTC on Sept. 1 originated from Palm, Motorola and Openwave, with Google taking ownership of them over the course of the past year.

In a formal complaint filed Wednesday in a Delaware federal court, HTC alleged new infringement by Apple on four of the patents that were first issued to Motorola.

Separately, HTC also amended a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, originally filed against Apple in May, by alleging the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is in violation of the remaining five newly acquired patents, two of them previously owned by Palm and three others initially issued to Openwave.

HTC countersued Apple in May after the iPhone maker accused HTC of infringing on 20 patents related to the iPhone with its own touch-screen devices. The Taiwanese company then sued Apple again in mid-August, claiming that products such as the Mac, iPhone and iPad infringe on three HTC patents.

The U.S. International Trade Commission has also agreed to investigate a second Apple patent infringement suit against HTC that was filed in July, a week before a judge ruled that HTC is in violation of two patents asserted by Apple in the initial trial.

Those two patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,946,647 and 6,343,263, are still subject to review by the full commission. Apple has specifically highlighted the second filing in recent proceedings, implying that Googles Andy Rubin may have gotten inspiration for a related component of Android while working at Apple in the early 1990s.

Apple has yet to file a formal complaint against Google regarding the patent, but does have an ongoing infringement case pending against Motorola Mobility on the matter. The patent could therefore pose issues for Google down the line should the search giant's proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility gain approval.

For its part, Google hasn't initiated a formal complaint against Apple either but it did take a public position in March in which it stated that it intends to stand behind [its] Android operating system and the partners who have helped [it] to develop it, without actually detailing any plans to officially oppose Apples legal claims in court.
post #2 of 71
well i would suggest HTC that calling DEATH for themselves is not a good idea
post #3 of 71
The Axis of Copycats just refuse to go out and do something original.

However, for all their copycatting, lawsuits and bogus self promotion, Android is and remains today - a train wreck.
post #4 of 71
I can see this one being thrown out immediately - if they were valid, why didn't Google defend them? They didn't. Therefore they lose them.
post #5 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

I can see this one being thrown out immediately - if they were valid, why didn't Google defend them? They didn't. Therefore they lose them.

No, you don't lose patents that way.
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post #6 of 71
We already know that, from several posts at FossPatents and reposted elsewhere, any patents Google has acquired are weak and considered to be of little value. Google cannot protect Android, just as Mr. Mueller firmly states, so these Google patents assigned to HTC are unlikely to be of any use in leveraging a settlement with Apple.

Very little here for Apple to be concerned with.
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post #7 of 71
I don't understand how Google can "gift" HTC with Motorola patents when the acquisition hasn't even been approved through the FTC yet. Can anybody with more knowledge on M&As shed some light on this?
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post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

I don't understand how Google can "gift" HTC with Motorola patents when the acquisition hasn't even been approved through the FTC yet. Can anybody with more knowledge on M&As shed some light on this?

They weren't Moto patents
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post #9 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

They weren't Moto patents

4 of the patents came from motorola, those got passed to google this year.
Edit: Added copy-pasted from article at Electronista.

An exploration has detailed the Motorola patents given to Google. They relate mostly to cellular radio firmware and include methods for upgrading a modem's firmware, talking between master and slave devices, a delay management technique to make a preference when one isn't already set, and a way to get software from a modem to a computer.

The five patents obtained from other companies include a zoomed view of input from a phone keypad, a "hypermedia identifier" input method, two patents covering a status bar that allows user interaction, and one for a generic "dynamic display for communication devices." Some of these patents have traded hands multiple times, including France's Purple Labs and Myriad.
post #10 of 71
A US company going out of its way to assist a non-US company to compate against a US company for the sake of selling more advertisements. Couldn't imagine that given the state of teh US economy and high un-employmebnt rate that this news will go down well if it becomes highly publicised.
post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

They weren't Moto patents

That's not what Ars Technica is reporting. Let me try to post the link:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...red+Content%29
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post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

I don't understand how Google can "gift" HTC with Motorola patents when the acquisition hasn't even been approved through the FTC yet. Can anybody with more knowledge on M&As shed some light on this?

These patents were already acquired by Google prior to the Motorola deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloomberg

The nine patents originated with Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc., with Google taking ownership within the past year, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records.
post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by plokoonpma View Post

4 of the patents came from motorola, those got passed to google this year.

Ah, you replied to Gator before I got a chance to post the link. If Motorola had already passed these along to Google, that makes the $12.5B buy out very, very interesting and clearly not for just patents.
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post #14 of 71
Rubin needs to be questioned under oath.
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post #15 of 71
I'm tired of all these patent articles. It's all the same. X sues Y. Y finds dirt on X. X & Y settle. Everyone loses except the lawyers.

Can't we get back to wild speculation of iPhone5? Super HD... Holographic... Telepathy? You know, the fun stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by global.philosopher View Post

A US company going out of its way to assist a non-US company to compate against a US company for the sake of selling more advertisements. Couldn't imagine that given the state of teh US economy and high un-employmebnt rate that this news will go down well if it becomes highly publicised.

So when Google assists HTC it's all <jimbo accent>"dey took arr jobs"</jimbo>. But when Apple does all their manufacturing in China, it's business as usual? For a "global philosopher", you're rather narrow-minded.

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

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I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Windows Tablet, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 Linux HTPC

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

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post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Rubin needs to be questioned under oath.

do you really think an oath will get honest answers from him. he would just dance around the head of the pin since legally he does not have to answer questions that implicate himself
post #17 of 71
I am just amazed that with all the anti-competitive slurs being thrown at Apple by the Android camp that this wouldn't just get thrown all over the front page as total hypocrisy and real anti-competitive action.

Giving away patents to another company in a coordinated attack on the competition?!?!\
post #18 of 71
So, a U.S. company whose then CEO sat on Apple's board of directors, is assisting Taiwanese HTC to damage wherever possible, Apple's core business. Corporate America at its best!
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post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

That's not what Ars Technica is reporting. Let me try to post the link:

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...red+Content%29

I posted before looking at the source of the patents. You're correct that some originated with Moto. I'm more surprised that none of the IBM patents were included (yet). A couple of recent articles, one at PatentlyO, suggested that's the ones that would most apply to Apple products, and would be the most difficult to work around. Supposedly hand-picked with Apple in mind.
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post #20 of 71
If anyone is interested in listening to an hourlong in-depth expose on patent trolling in all of its glory, here's a link:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack


It's from an episode of This American Life which, for the uninitiated, used to be a radio literary magazine and has morphed into an investigative reporting news hour. The article is pitched to a general audience but is very interesting, even to those familiar with the patent troll problem.
post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by estyle View Post

I am just amazed that with all the anti-competitive slurs being thrown at Apple by the Android camp that this wouldn't just get thrown all over the front page as total hypocrisy and real anti-competitive action.

Giving away patents to another company in a coordinated attack on the competition?!?!\

You can't plead the fifth in civil cases. That only applies in criminal cases. Now, if he pleads the fifth, that will certainly make the US Attorney's office sit up and take notice, particularly if judicial notice is taken.
post #22 of 71
This nonsense will continue as long as Apple keeps swinging the patent bat. At some point it will bite back then we can all move on with new innovative ideas.
post #23 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarquisMark View Post

I'm tired of all these patent articles. It's all the same. X sues Y. Y finds dirt on X. X & Y settle. Everyone loses except the lawyers.

Can't we get back to wild speculation of iPhone5? Super HD... Holographic... Telepathy? You know, the fun stuff.



So when Google assists HTC it's all <jimbo accent>"dey took arr jobs"</jimbo>. But when Apple does all their manufacturing in China, it's business as usual? For a "global philosopher", you're rather narrow-minded.

Jobs said Apple got patents to protect iPhone when he introduced iPhone to the world in 2007. It was all recorded in video. Because of this, I think Jobs and team already examined pretty much whether iPhone violated any patents.
post #24 of 71
Is it me, or is this just getting ugly?

a.k.a. Google: "Here's some bullets for your gun!, we don't want to get hurt."
post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevc View Post

Is it me, or is this just getting ugly?

a.k.a. Google: "Here's some bullets for your gun!, we don't want to get hurt."

It got ugly the second Apple decided to sue everyone (well, everyone who they view of as a threat) instead of working with them behind the deals.

When they sued HTC they officially filed the suit and had a press release about it before anyone even contacted HTC.

This whole thing reads more like a cat fight than anything else.
post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

Jobs said Apple got patents to protect iPhone when he introduced iPhone to the world in 2007. It was all recorded in video. Because of this, I think Jobs and team already examined pretty much whether iPhone violated any patents.

And yet they still LOST patent lawsuits over the iphone. Furthermore, they refused to pay patent fees to Nokia, Samsung, HTC (I think), and Motorola. Patents that those companies asserted against apple and then apple didn't question if they were violating them, just claimed that they were Frand.

EDIT: But that's besides the point. The point is that this lawsuit arms race (a cold war that just turned hot) benefits NO ONE but the lawyers. The system is broken because it (currently) punishes standardization and the companies that develop it, and it makes the barrier to entry for new companies insurmountable.
post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

And yet they still LOST patent lawsuits over the iphone. Furthermore, they refused to pay patent fees to Nokia, Samsung, HTC (I think), and Motorola. Patents that those companies asserted against apple and then apple didn't question if they were violating them, just claimed that they were Frand.

EDIT: But that's besides the point. The point is that this lawsuit arms race (a cold war that just turned hot) benefits NO ONE but the lawyers. The system is broken because it (currently) punishes standardization and the companies that develop it, and it makes the barrier to entry for new companies insurmountable.

According to your logic, Apple should not even do anything to the Chinese copycats. HTC and Samsung and Google are not any better than the Chinese copycats. They are just bigger and richer.
post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

And yet they still LOST patent lawsuits over the iPhone.

So enlighten us as to which case Apple lost?

Given that none of these cases have been heard, yet.
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post #29 of 71
So what happens to the actions Motorola launched against Apple?

Given that they no longer own some of the patents they are suing Apple over.

This could set a precedent of continuous transfer of patent ownership to a string of shelf companies, which could be used to launch a continuous stream of lawsuits.
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post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

It got ugly the second Apple decided to sue everyone (well, everyone who they view of as a threat) instead of working with them behind the deals.

When they sued HTC they officially filed the suit and had a press release about it before anyone even contacted HTC.

This whole thing reads more like a cat fight than anything else.

Nokia and Motorola sued Apple first so I guess you should direct your ire to those companies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

And yet they still LOST patent lawsuits over the iphone. Furthermore, they refused to pay patent fees to Nokia, Samsung, HTC (I think), and Motorola. Patents that those companies asserted against apple and then apple didn't question if they were violating them, just claimed that they were Frand.

EDIT: But that's besides the point. The point is that this lawsuit arms race (a cold war that just turned hot) benefits NO ONE but the lawyers. The system is broken because it (currently) punishes standardization and the companies that develop it, and it makes the barrier to entry for new companies insurmountable.

Apple didn't refuse to pay patent fees to Nokia. It refused to pay over FRAND rates. As for those other companies, I guess we will see after the dust has cleared because Apple's position is that those patents are either FRAND (Motorola and Samsung) or invalid (HTC).
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post #31 of 71
ERIC SCHMIDT is a cold-hearted traitor.

I still can't understand why Apple Board has not sued this scumbag.
post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by global.philosopher View Post

A US company going out of its way to assist a non-US company to compate against a US company for the sake of selling more advertisements. Couldn't imagine that given the state of teh US economy and high un-employmebnt rate that this news will go down well if it becomes highly publicised.

Americans have never been patriotic / nationalistic due to the makeup of the country. I am sure Taiwanese Americans would stand up for Google in this case. The bigger point is that I should have became a patent lawyer rather than an accountant. I would have had crazy job security right now.
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post #33 of 71
Look it's Menno, he is back to defend Android again. Surprise, surprise. I'm waiting for more of his wondrous tales of how awesome his tab is and why he is glad he bought one instead of an iPad. Oh joy.

post #34 of 71
So whenever Apple sues them they are just going to pass arround patents to protect each other? Is that legal? What about infringing prior to obtaining the patents?
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post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

So enlighten us as to which case Apple lost?

Given that none of these cases have been heard, yet.

Look up Apple V Creative (technically over ipod)

And look at Apple losing the Coverflow lawsuit
post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Look it's Menno, he is back to defend Android again. Surprise, surprise. I'm waiting for more of his wondrous tales of how awesome his tab is and why he is glad he bought one instead of an iPad. Oh joy.


Haven't defended Android in this thread yet.

I also only mention my Tab when we're talking about the trade dress argument, and I only say I like it when people said that no one outside of korea would willingly buy one. As for why I didn't get an ipad, that's simple. Why would I buy a device that's incompatible with the rest of my ecosystem? It's like someone with everything apple picking up a Boxee Box instead of an Apple TV so they can get netflix on their TV
post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

Nokia and Motorola sued Apple first so I guess you should direct your ire to those companies.

Motorola sued themselves over Apple patents first. Nokia sued over lost revenue from frand patents.

Quote:
Apple didn't refuse to pay patent fees to Nokia. It refused to pay over FRAND rates. As for those other companies, I guess we will see after the dust has cleared because Apple's position is that those patents are either FRAND (Motorola and Samsung) or invalid (HTC).

They still created the product and sold it (and profited from it) without licensing the patents. Looks a lot like "refusing" to pay to me.
post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

According to your logic, Apple should not even do anything to the Chinese copycats. HTC and Samsung and Google are not any better than the Chinese copycats. They are just bigger and richer.

No, they're not copycats. and if you honestly think that ANYONE would pick up an HTC phone thinking it was an iphone.. you've never seen an HTC phone. Copycats in china are using the apple logo and the apple name to sell their products. Those other two companies aren't doing either.

The difference with HTC and Samsung is that they're actually gaining market share.

And what I'm saying is that fighting like this over patents (specifically stupid ones such as slide to unlock) benefits NO ONE but lawyers.
post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

No, they're not copycats. and if you honestly think that ANYONE would pick up an HTC phone thinking it was an iphone.. you've never seen an HTC phone. Copycats in china are using the apple logo and the apple name to sell their products. Those other two companies aren't doing either.

The difference with HTC and Samsung is that they're actually gaining market share.

And what I'm saying is that fighting like this over patents (specifically stupid ones such as slide to unlock) benefits NO ONE but lawyers.

Do you honestly think Android OS never copy catted iOS?
post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

Do you honestly think Android OS never copy catted iOS?

I think that if you believe that "copy catting" is somehow a "dirty" concept in tech you haven't paid attention to the history of tech. Companies looking at what their competitors are doing and adopting things that work and making them their own is about as old as the concept of trade and bartering. Yes, there is a point where one company copies too much without changing it, such as Touchwiz 3 and the Galaxy S line, but EVERY company adopts things from others.

Apple's Multi-tasking is basically a modified version of what Android does (it follows the same basic policies as Android's implementation but with stricter rules about WHAT can run in the background (certain type of data only).

Apple's new notification system pulled features from Android, WebOS, and from Jailbreak Devs.

Apple released iMessage, a program that borrows heavily from the idea of BBM, but ads the awesome ability to automatically detect if the person you're messaging is an iOS5 user so you don't have to switch between it and a "standard" texting program.

This adaptation does NOT make Apple less innovative or their products any less amazing. As I said, this is how business works. The problem is now companies are patenting EVERYTHING because they're convinced that every new idea should be their exclusively for 15 YEARS. Realistically, companies were patenting everything because other companies were patenting everything and it became almost a cold war where these companies built up massive war chest so that they could continue releasing new products without fear of a lawsuit.

A company defending against counterfeiters is fine, and it should be done because knock-offs like that can destroy a brand image. But Apple's going after companies because they let the user unlock a touchscreen device using the touchscreen. (slide to unlock) And now everyone is suing everyone else over patents that range from pointless to patents that are "well duh" type things (as in, everyone uses it everywhere already)

All this does is waste money paying lawyers and creates an insanely high barrier to entry for new companies. There are so many broad patents out there that it's practically impossible to create anything that does violate at least a few (a smartphone is over a quarter million at least). It's telling that when Apple first started suing HTC, the commentary wasn't on how valid the patents were, but rather how HTC was at a disadvantage because they had so few patents to countersue apple with.

How is a system based off of the assumption that everyone is violating patents (and that's what gives them their value) a productive one?
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