Google set for new patent attack

Coming to the defence of Android partners against Apple
Darren Allan

February 17, 2012
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The never-ending patent wars are continuing with some gusto this week.

Apple has been on the offensive, once again, earlier in the week bringing a US lawsuit against Samsung for a number of patent violations (as well as attempting a preliminary injunction ban on the Galaxy Nexus).

And yesterday in Germany, Apple scored a victory against another firm, Motorola, in a battle over a slide-to-unlock patent (one of the patent allegations also levelled against Samsung).

That, theoretically, leaves Motorola’s devices, or many of them (the Xoom tablet was at least cleared of any wrongdoing), facing a ban in Germany.

Naturally, though, Motorola is set to appeal and also has a workaround for its unlock mechanism ready to go in order to avoid products being stripped off the shelves.

The latest news, however, is with regard to Google, which has a new piece of patent ammunition which it can use to defend its various Android partners.

The Register reports that a patent for unlocking mobile devices has actually been granted to Google this month.

And that could mean all Android manufacturers could switch their unlock mechanism and hide under the umbrella of this particular patent, leaving Apple’s current avenue of attack which has featured in a number of cases effectively negated.

Of course, that’s just one small facet of a global legal battle which sees the tentacles of large corporations snaking around the Earth and lashing at each other in countless courtrooms.

Is the average consumer sick of it yet? Very probably. Is the average lawyer? Not likely.


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