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

andy rubin headshotFOSS 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

SiMBa37 Avatar
122 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.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eric S. Avatar
122 months ago

whats Apple going to say next?


Since Apple invented cool technology, anything really cool belongs to them.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neiltc13 Avatar
122 months ago
And the notifications system in iOS5 is clearly "inspired" by Android. What's new?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChazUK Avatar
122 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?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kane08 Avatar
122 months ago

Yes, ALL of Android derives from what Rubin saw about the 263 patent at Apple.

Apple isn't claiming to have invented android or rubin got all his inspiration from this patent. What the are doing is pointing out that HTC lied about Rubin and legally that weakens all of their arguments because if they lied about something as small as that, why wouldn't they lie about big stuff?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Steve's Barber Avatar
122 months ago

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

Exactly.

For god's sake... there are only so many ways a thumb and finger can interact with a 3.5" screen.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
pat gelsinger intel

Incoming Intel CEO Derides Company's Inability to 'Deliver Better Products' Than Apple's M1 Chip

Friday January 15, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Incoming Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has said that the company must "deliver better products" than Apple, which he described as a "lifestyle company," and says that Intel's best days are "in front of it" (via The Oregonian). Speaking at an Intel all-hands meeting yesterday, Gelsinger derisively implied that Apple is merely a "lifestyle company," so Intel must be able to surpass its technology: ...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...