HTC Cites Patents Obtained From Google in New Lawsuit Against Apple
Bloomberg reports on an interesting twist in the ever-growing patent dispute between Apple and handset manufacturers supporting Google's Android operating system. According to the report, HTC today filed a new patent lawsuit against Apple and amended an earlier complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), citing nine patents that had previously been held by Google and assigned to HTC just last week.
The four patents cited in the new lawsuit were initially held by Motorola, but apparently passed to Google sometime over the past year before being transferred to HTC. Google is of course currently attempting to acquire Motorola Mobility in a bid to add a hardware component to its existing software program in the competitive smartphone market.
The other five patents added to the earlier ITC complaint originated at Palm and Openwave Systems before being obtained by Google. Google then transferred those patents to HTC last week.
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. Mountain View, California-based Google recorded transfer of the patents to HTC on Sept. 1, according to the agency’s website.
HTC sued Apple today in federal court in Delaware, claiming infringement of four of those patents that originally were issued to Motorola. Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC also amended a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, alleging infringement of three patents first issued to Openwave and two others originally owned by Palm.
Apple has of course filed lawsuits and ITC complaints against a number of Android handset manufacturers, many of which have retaliated with their own lawsuits. But Google has stayed out of the immediate fray, although it has noted that it will support its hardware partners in their disputes. This direct transfer of patents from Google to HTC in order to provide HTC with additional ammunition in its fight against Apple seems to be the clearest evidence yet of that effort.