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HTC sues Apple with patents from Google, Motorola [U]

updated 06:15 pm EDT, Wed September 7, 2011

HTC uses Google-Motorola deal to hit Apple

(Update: patents outlined) HTC stepped up its counters to Apple's lawsuits by suing Apple again in a Delaware court. The claim alleges violation of four patents that Google had transferred to HTC's ownership just days earlier, on September 1. The four had originally been granted to Motorola and were the offshoot of the $12.5 billion merger, although Google hasn't closed the deal and would have had to get a separate, voluntary handover.

The Taiwan smartphone designer also altered its ITC dispute with Apple to take advantage of five patents also obtained from Google. Two of these were first owned by Palm before it joined HP, and three had been owned by frequent lawsuit filer Openwave.

HTC's new case is likely intended to mitigate its loss to Apple at the ITC and the realization that it might see some of its products banned if it can't win an appeal. Apple already has a second ITC dispute underway along with separate civil cases.

The new lawsuit underscores a turnaround in Google's approach to patents. At first, it tried a purely defensive tone where it portrayed itself as a victim but appeared to be taking little action other than words. Without any direct profit from Android unless it completes its buyout of Motorola, Google can't sue others for damages. Having its own patent portfolio at least gives it a defensive tool for partners and leverage to go on the attack, whether itself or through third parties.

Update: An exploration has detailed the Motorola patents given to Google. They relate mostly to cellular radio firmware and include methods for upgrading a modem's firmware, talking between master and slave devices, a delay management technique to make a preference when one isn't already set, and a way to get software from a modem to a computer.

The five patents obtained from other companies include a zoomed view of input from a phone keypad, a "hypermedia identifier" input method, two patents covering a status bar that allows user interaction, and one for a generic "dynamic display for communication devices." Some of these patents have traded hands multiple times, including France's Purple Labs and Myriad.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Zanziboy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    More evidence that HTC probably doesn't have a leg to stand on. If these patents were not actioned by Motorola and Palm, I doubt they are much value in HTC's hands.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011


    Apple violates patents

    Apple has lost patent lawsuits before, and they will again.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Googles image may start to lose its luster over th

    given that Google is an American company and it is going out of its way to assist a non-US company to compete against an American company.
    If this becomes highly publicised it could increase demand of iOS products (if that is possible).

    Comment buried. Show
  1. imNat-imadouche

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yeah whatever man, keep dreaming. No consumer cares. Its all about price then experience in that order.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Just look at the schmucks lining up trying to get their PCs worked on by Staples/Office Depot, etc. Is the line getting longer? No, definitely not. Once they have bitten by virus, they may pay for antivirus and other phony baloney snake oil, but second time? Nope.

    It was about specification and price just a decade ago. No longer.

  1. facebook_Geo

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011



    HTC is ludicrous and insulting in their attempts to justify ripping off Apple design an function using patents plundered from the wreckage of Motorola's own pillaging of other companies.

  1. daqman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not even close

    The thing with these patents is that they don't even compare with what HTC did which is produce products that had identical look and feel to Apple products so taking advantage of all of the effort that Apple put in to come up with something unique and interesting. It's not like someone else came up with all the ideas and Apple made the product. Apple did all of the R&D and deserves to profit from it.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...I liked the other Darren better.

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