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.

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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.

Top Rated Comments

rdowns Avatar
165 months ago
You can never have enough patent threads for all the patent experts on MR.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
840quadra Avatar
165 months ago
I personally have an issue with any company that purchases an other simply to protect patents they didn't create. Or a company that simply buys a patent in order to protect it, or make money from lawsuits.

If the company in question is actually using the technology, it is a little better, however, I still feel it goes against the entire purpose of the Patent system. I don't care if it is Apple, Google, HTC or otherwise, the behavior just seems petty.

Less litigation, more innovation please.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Number 41 Avatar
165 months ago
I wonder if Apple is the type of bully to run when the kids start fighting back or if they'll just try and bully harder.

I love Apple products and everything they do, but I hate what they are doing with these patent lawsuits. Go HTC!

Compare what HTC phones looked like before the iPhone to what HTC phones look like now and tell me if they're worth cheering for.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BaldiMac Avatar
165 months ago
Microsoft owns a big chunk of Apple (that is why :apple: didn't go bankrupt)
No, they don't.

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/05/apples-stock-rise-could-have-meant-5-billion-for-microsoft.ars

And the $150 million was just a symbol. Apple had around $4 billion at the time if I remember correctly.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the8thark Avatar
165 months ago
Go HTC!
You want the patent troll to win?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
St. Germain Avatar
165 months ago
Compare what HTC phones looked like before the iPhone to what HTC phones look like now and tell me if they're worth cheering for.

Amen.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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