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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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 Bloomberg?s 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 Google?s 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 Apple?s legal claims in court.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    well i would suggest HTC that calling DEATH for themselves is not a good idea
  • Reply 2 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 70
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 70
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,012member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 70
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 70
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,012member
    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
  • Reply 8 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 70
    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
  • Reply 11 of 70
    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.



  • Reply 12 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 70
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,992member
    Rubin needs to be questioned under oath.
  • Reply 14 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 70
    estyleestyle Posts: 201member
    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
  • Reply 16 of 70
    estyleestyle Posts: 201member
    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?!?!\
  • Reply 17 of 70
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,595member
    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!
  • Reply 18 of 70
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,012member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 70
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 70
    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.
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