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Apple Claims Key Android Framework 'Inspired' by Andy Rubin's Work at Apple

FOSS Patents reports on an interesting twist in Apple's case against HTC currently underway with the U.S. International Trade Commission. According to a recently-filed brief, Apple claims that a key patent for a "real-time signal processing" API which HTC is accused of infringing in its Android devices was developed by a team of Apple engineers, of which Android co-founder and current Google executive Andy Rubin was a member.

While the revelation is not directly relevant to Apple's case against HTC , the claim is provided primarily to bolster Apple's case that HTC has not been entirely truthful in presenting its case by omitting discussion of Rubin's time at Apple. According to Apple, Rubin was a "low-level engineer" at Apple reporting directly to the inventors of the patent in question at the time the invention. Apple suggests that Android's alleged infringing framework was the result of "Mr. Rubin's inspiration" from that work at Apple. From the legal brief:
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. 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. [...] 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. [...] 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.
Apple is of course not claiming that the entire basis of Android was actually developed at Apple, but its assertion that Rubin may have utilized some of Apple's work within Android could be problematic for Google should Apple decide to press a case directly against Google.

Rubin's behavior has already been called into question in a separate case brought by Oracle over the use of Java in Android. In that case, evidence in the form of an email written by Rubin in which he suggested that Google could use Java within Android without permission from Sun (now a part Oracle) has been introduced, leading to accusations of "willful infringement" against Rubin and Google. It seems that Apple may be at least planting the seed that Rubin could have engaged in similar activity dating back to his time at Apple twenty years ago.

Top Rated Comments

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39 months ago
So now Apple invented the Android OS? :eek: I bet Al Gore had something to do with this.
Rating: 23 Votes
39 months ago
And the notifications system in iOS5 is clearly "inspired" by Android. What's new?
Rating: 20 Votes
39 months ago

And the notifications system in iOS5 is clearly "inspired" by Android. What's new?

Not this again.

Googles notification system is inspired by Cydia notification system for unlocked iOS devices.

Apple hired the developer of that Cydia app and integrated it into iOS5. So Apple have not been inspired by Google in this case.

Hate Apple. Love Google.
But use facts.
Rating: 20 Votes
39 months ago

I find it interesting that Google is being pursued legally in one way or another by a number of parties (MS, Oracle, etc) - in some cases successfully, yet they haven't really pursued anyone else in turn or made any assertions against other entities.

Googles company culture is to test the boundaries of the law.
Look at youtube: 90% of the content is pirated. Somehow Google gets away with it just claiming "we did not upload the content. If you want your content removed contact goggle"

Google search engine is the world largest warez tracker. Somehow Google gets away with it. If I did the same thing, I would end up in jail, just like Piratebay.

Google App store have loads of illegal apps. The biggest problem is App developers gets their apps copied and uploaded to Google App store and sold by a 3 party. Google does not care. They just want the advertising money from data mining in Android OS.

There are more Android phones then iOS phones. iOS/Google users have about 170 apps installed. Somehow Google App store have under 10% market share. The reason is the all pirated copies. There are even Android app stores on the web with every single app for free/pirated. Google turns a blind eye for this, because piracy is a great selling point. Exactly the same tactic that MSFT did to get a large windows install base.

Google used GNU code and modified it without permission. Especially that they removed the author of the code. Google lost the trial and had to pay 5 million dollar.

Earlier this year Google was fined 500 million for illegal drug ads.

And the list goes on and on and on and on.

Google is a great company. They have the best search engine. Google Apps/Mail are great products. Goolge has done a great thing for the whole industry by publishing how they build their data centers. No other company is as good as Google in this regard.

Goolge just went to far with Android. (And Android is a great product).
Google didn't invent Android. They bought it. They saw iPhone prototypes and cloned it. This is just facts.

Google is not an innovative company. Everything they do, someone else has done before. Name one product service that someone haven't done before.

People should support innovative companies.
And if you are American: support American companies instead of Samsung and other companies. Apple at least pays 22% tax and creates loads of jobs for Americans. Samsung does not.


Maybe we should ask Apple the same question, seeing how they managed to fake (whatever) a picture or two (or 27) in the Apple vs. Samsung case. Then, of course, everyone saw this as irrelevant...

Funny these things.

Apple didn't fake the picture.
Samsung prototypes had that shape.


See, Google copied Apple. Again. Steve invented Linux too.

1) The only reason why Linux exist is because software patents didn't exist in 1960. Linux is a Unix clone.

2) Apple did the right thing and used BSD UNIX, not Linux. There is a licensing difference.
Rating: 17 Votes
39 months ago
Any one else tired of Andy Rubin's perpetual smirk in all of his pics? Its like he knows some inside secret that he's not willing to share.
Rating: 13 Votes
39 months ago

And the notifications system in iOS5 is clearly "inspired" by Android. What's new?


For god's sake... there are only so many ways a thumb and finger can interact with a 3.5" screen.
Rating: 13 Votes
39 months ago

whats Apple going to say next?

Since Apple invented cool technology, anything really cool belongs to them.
Rating: 11 Votes
39 months ago

Did it have push notifications?

What does push notifications have to do with the notification system of Android?

When people refer to iOS's notification system, they are referring to the drop down notification bar available since Android 1.0 was launched on the G1.

Which Cydia modification added the drop down notification bar to iPhone OS prior to the G1's release in 2008?
Rating: 10 Votes
39 months ago

The same way Apple didn't invented the touch interface

False, there were also prototypes of all touch phones.

False, only HTC and a pair of other vendors pays Microsoft

False, does Apple has sued Google?

Get the facts?

1) Somehow Apple have loads of touch interface patents. Touch/Multitouch, swipe and so on.
2) Where? All Google prototypes before iPhone I have seen is RIM copies. To be fair: Apple started its tablet project early 2002 that lead to the iPhone. This is years before Google even bought Android. Don't also forget the Newton. Even if Google had a touch interface prototype weeks before the iPhone launch, it is still years after Apple.
3) So far 6 Android vendors pays MSFT, and more will follow. Do you think these companies just want to hand over money to MSFT? They KNOW that Android violates patent and pays for protection. There is nothing that indicates that not every single Android device will be forced to pay licensing fees.
4)Apple has not sued Google since they don't manufacture phones. This is why it is great that Google bought Motorola mobile. Now Apple can sue Google. If Google believed in Android they should of course have supported HTC and other companies in their patent struggles. Google didn't. Instead Google went out Patent Hunting to try to find a patent that they can swap with Apple. Only reason why they do this is because they KNOW that they are violating the law. Why would they otherwise have spent over 12 billions on patents?

Google should of course used the 12 billion and invented their own system.

MSFT managed to create probably the best phone OS in 7.5.
WebOS had parts that was far better then iOS.
Why could not Google do the same? They bought Android. Sat in Apples board and saw iPhone prototypes and started to copy it. That is backstabbing.
Rating: 10 Votes
39 months ago

I am not an Apple fan.

We can discuss "what is a touch" interface.
The fact is that Apple have loads of patent in the touch area. Multitouch, swipe and other gestures.
Apple also had the first product that had a precise touch screen that allowed users to use their fingers.

Don't forget that Apple invented the PDA. This is the base for the iPhone project.
Apple started around 2001-2002 with their tablet project. The tablet was no-go and they used this core to make the iPhone.

Where are all touch interface devices that existed before iPhone? Especially phones and internet devices? Just link to a couple of devices. (and not the PRADA or some nonsense like that)

"Pocket PC 2002, originally codenamed "Merlin",[13] was released in October 2001"

Windows Mobile (

Microsoft invented the Modern touch interface UI

Apple only refined the resistive UI
Rating: 9 Votes

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