Google provides HTC patent ammunition to fire at Apple

Yet another lawsuit opens up in the Cupertino versus Android campaign
Darren Allan

September 8, 2011

Just this morning, we’ve been hearing about Android’s gains across the globe and in the UK.

In this country, the OS has doubled its smartphone market share over the past year according to the latest ComTech figures. Google’s mobile platform has leapt from 23% to 47% of the market, whereas iOS has slid from 28% to 21%.

However, the smartphone battle isn’t just taking place in retail and online stores, but in the courts as well.

Apple is fighting a legal battle against Android devices on multiple fronts, and successfully managed to hit Samsung hard last month, obtaining an injunction against the sale of the Galaxy S smartphone range in Europe.

Samsung was also forced to pull its new 7.7 inch tablet from the IFA show after a German court ordered it blocked.

HTC has also been facing fire from Apple’s legal team, with sixteen patent disputes on the boil, and HTC facing a potential ban on handset sales in the US.

Thus far, Google has sat on the fence watching these pot-shots being taken at its supporting manufacturers, but that’s no longer the case.

Google just sold a clutch of patents to HTC, with the express purpose of enabling the company to open a fresh suit against Apple. Which is just what HTC has done.

There are nine patents involved in total, four of which came from Motorola, the firm Google has turned to acquire for its huge reservoirs of patents to use as ammunition in the upcoming patent wars.

The patents HTC is using pertain to wireless software updates and processor actions, amongst other alleged infringements by Apple.

But as with all these suits which keep ping-ponging between Apple and Android companies, they are fairly general technologies which are pretty much industry standards.

As we’ve said before, the sooner everyone can start fighting on technological innovation and not legal action again, the better. Unfortunately, with the success Apple has had thus far in bringing its patent weight to bear, this issue isn’t likely to be going away any time soon.

Indeed, Google has just stepped the war up a gear with its provision of ammunition to HTC. Thus far, Apple hasn’t slung any patent mud at Google, but given the company’s latest action, that situation could be about to change.

Meanwhile, we think all these companies should change their various mottos and slogans.

Never mind “Get a Mac”, Apple these days is more like: “Get a Lawyer.”

And HTC could forgo its brilliance to become : “Quietly Litigious.”

As for Google, perhaps: “Don’t be patently absurd.”


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