Court documents allege Google's Andy Rubin conceived of Android while at Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A recent reply brief in Apple's patent infringement case against HTC with the International Trade Commission implies that Google executive Andy Rubin got the inspiration for the Android framework during his time as a low-level engineer at Apple.



Rubin spent time at Apple from 1989 to 1992 before moving on to General Magic and then Danger, which made the Sidekick. After founding Danger, he went on to start Android Inc. Google acquired Android in 2005, bringing Rubin on to head development of the open-source operating system.



As noted by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, Apple is accusing Taiwanese handset maker HTC of distorting history to discount Rubin's time at the Cupertino, Calif., company. According to Apple, HTC has "omitted a highly relevant fact? that Rubin worked with the inventors of a patent that the ITC has initially ruled HTC infringed on.



"Android and Mr. Rubin's relevant background does not start, as HTC would like the Commission to believe, with his work at General Magic or Danger in the mid-1990s," Apple wrote in the court filing. "In reality, as the evidence revealed at the hearing, Mr. Rubin began his career at Apple in the early 1990s and worked as a low-level engineer specifically reporting to the inventors of the '263 [realtime API] patent at the exact time their invention was being conceived and developed."



Apple went on to suggest that Rubin may have used ideas from the patent in his work on the foundation of Android. The company's court filing did note that the issue is not "directly relevant" to the case, while alleging that it does show that HTC has taken liberties in its efforts to overturn the ITC's ruling.



"It is thus no wonder that the infringing Android platform used the claimed subsystem approach of the '263 patent that allows for flexibility of design and enables the platform to be "highly customizable and expandable" as HTC touts," Apple continued in its brief. "While Mr. Rubin's inspiration for the Android framework may not be directly relevant to the pending petitions for review, that HTC felt compelled to distort this history is illustrative of the liberties it takes in attacking the ALJ's [initial determination] and the substantial evidence supporting the ALJ's findings."



Mueller paraphrased the quote, saying: ?Look at the first two sentences again: "Android [...] does not start [...] at General Magic or Danger." According to this filing, it all started at Apple!?







The patent in question is U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263, entitled "Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data," and describes "the use of real-time application programming interfaces (APIs) interposed between application software or driver software and the real-time processing subsystem." An earlier analysis of the patent by Mueller revealed that the technology may be foundational to Android, making it "extremely hard" to work around.



"In Android's case, it's possible that working around this patent requires a fundamental change to Android's architecture, and possibly even to the architecture of the underlying Linux kernel," he wrote in July. The ITC ruling also found HTC guilty of violating U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647, which supposedly relates to Android's "Linkify" functionality.



The commission is expected to reach a final decision in its investigation on Dec. 6, 2011, with the option of either adopting or reviewing the Administrative Law Judge's determination. Both Apple and HTC have filed petitions for review.



Mueller went on to state that Apple's argument for the '263 patent could pose a serious threat to Android and Google, as the company could be found to have willfully and intentionally infringed the patent, increasing Apple's chances of obtaining an injunction and tripling damages.







Given that Apple is asserting the '263 patent against Motorola Mobility, Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola could actually increase its patent liability.



"Apple could argue that Rubin works for MMI's parent company and could at least try to argue that willful infringement began at the latest when the acquisition was consummated,? Mueller wrote.



This isn't the first time that Rubin has faced accusations of willful patent infringement. Oracle is accusing Google of knowingly infringing on its Java platform, citing two emails from Rubin and another employee.



"If Sun [purchased by Oracle in 2009] doesn't want to work with us, we have two options: 1) Abandon our work and adopt MSFT CLR VM and C# language - or - 2) Do Java anyway and defend our decision, perhaps making enemies along the way," Rubin reportedly wrote back in 2005.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 57
    Hot damn. The plot thickens. I always though a lot of this sue-age was just to keep the oppo off balance, but this (and the Oracle suit) might actually come to something.
  • Reply 2 of 57
    everybody knows Android is an iOS rip off and this article is another evidence against Google.
  • Reply 3 of 57
    markivmarkiv Posts: 180member
    Thought it was obvious plus the Google CEO being one of the Board Members of Apple would have given Google an access to research documentations as well as the future plans of not only iOS but other hardwares/softwares. Isn't this what a Trojan Horse was
  • Reply 4 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A recent reply brief in Apple's patent infringement case against HTC with the International Trade Commission alleges that Google executive Andy Rubin got the inspiration for the Android framework during his time as a low-level engineer at Apple....



    I think Andy Rubin seems to be quite the turd, but the title of this article as well as the paragraph I've quoted that sums it up are quite inaccurate.



    What Apple is actually alleging is that HTC is misrepresenting Rubin's work history as it relates to the devolvement of Android, and that it's *possible* that his work at Apple had something to do with his inspiration.



    They are very specifically *not* saying that he "conceived Android while at Apple," knowing that they could not prove anything of the sort. Anyone could see that it's possible, or even likely, but Apple is very carefully not actually alleging it as fact, and nor should AppleInsider. It's basically defamation to say so.
  • Reply 5 of 57
    Regardless of how this will all turn out (and what the actual facts are), this is a very impressive piece of reporting.



    Congratulations, AI!
  • Reply 6 of 57
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member
    I suspect when all this was conceived the perpetrators never imagined Apple would become one of the most powerful and wealthiest companies on earth and assumed, just as in the early 1980's, it would be easy to rip off Apple's IP. They are in for a shock I hope.
  • Reply 7 of 57
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I suspect when all this was conceived the perpetrators never imagined Apple would become one of the most powerful and wealthiest companies on earth and assumed, just as in the early 1980's, it would be easy to rip off Apple's IP. They are in for a shock I hope.



    You're probably right. Apple has so much wealth and power now that they can probably do just about anything they want.
  • Reply 8 of 57
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Regardless of how this will all turn out (and what the actual facts are), this is a very impressive piece of reporting.



    Congratulations, AI!



    Right, because the title is misleading, as are their interpretations of the FossPatent source article.



    If by impressive you mean "Link bait" then.. it's still only meh
  • Reply 9 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Menno View Post


    Right, because the title is misleading, as are their interpretations of the FossPatent source article.



    If by impressive you mean "Link bait" then.. it's still only meh



    I'll stand by what I said, thanks.



    You may want to invest some time in learning to read better.
  • Reply 10 of 57
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    I'll stand by what I said, thanks.



    You may want to invest some time in learning to read better.



    Take your own advice:



    Apple is implying that HTC was inaccurate in reporting information to the trial judge, because they didn't report he worked at apple.



    Apple is also saying that Rubin worked under the team that created what became one of the "Infringing" patents, and that he might've worked on the team that put that tech into process.



    They are NOT claiming he came up with "ANDROID" while at apple. They are saying he MAY have used his knowledge of one of the techs he worked on with Apple when he MADE android later.
  • Reply 11 of 57
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    You're probably right. Apple has so much wealth and power now that they can probably do just about anything they want.



    I wasn't suggesting they could do whatever they want, just that this time around they can defend themselves. Last time IBM protected Gates when he ripped off Apple, not that he repaid them too well.
  • Reply 12 of 57
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 13 of 57
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Menno View Post


    Take your own advice:



    Apple is implying that HTC was inaccurate in reporting information to the trial judge, because they didn't report he worked at apple.



    Apple is also saying that Rubin worked under the team that created what became one of the "Infringing" patents, and that he might've worked on the team that put that tech into process.



    They are NOT claiming he came up with "ANDROID" while at apple. They are saying he MAY have used his knowledge of one of the techs he worked on with Apple when he MADE android later.



    Correlation is completely different from causation.
  • Reply 14 of 57
    Andy Rubin is Google's biggest problem. why dont they get rid of this guy!



    His big mouth is going to be Android's downfall.
  • Reply 15 of 57
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FriedLobster View Post


    Andy Rubin is Google's biggest problem. why dont they get rid of this guy!



    His big mouth is going to be Android's downfall.



    He tries so hard to be Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 16 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    He tries so hard to be Steve Jobs.



    Andy Rubin is the dumb, ugly, gay version of Steve Jobs.
  • Reply 17 of 57
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    This revelation kills any chance of a defence based on claiming the idea came up from a "clean room".
  • Reply 18 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FriedLobster View Post


    Andy Rubin is the dumb, ugly, gay version of Steve Jobs.



    Homophobe? The CEO of one of the most successful companies on this planet is Gay.



    Guess which company that would be?
  • Reply 19 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post


    Homophobe? The CEO of one of the most successful companies on this planet is Gay.



    Guess which company that would be?



    i'm not a homophobe. i'm just describing Andy Rubin.
  • Reply 20 of 57
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    You're probably right. Apple has so much wealth and power now that they can probably do just about anything they want.



    I want them to send Arnold Schwarzenegger back in time to kill Andy Rubin mother.

    On second thought he would probably get her pregnant.
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