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Judge decision could see Android violate key Apple patent

updated 07:05 pm EST, Sun January 29, 2012

HTC may run afoul of patent after decision

An examination of a decision in a Chicago court in Apple's lawsuit versus Motorola could see most any Android device face inherent patent violations. Florian Mueller has noticed that Judge Richard Posner interpreted a realtime API (app programming interface) in such a way that Motorola and other Android supporters not only would be infringing on the technology, but wouldn't have an easy way around it. HTC had already been found violating the patent and could now see that definition enshrined in the courts.

The ruling didn't automatically find companies imitating Apple's patents, but it could have a large bearing on at least the Motorola trial. The case is likely to begin in summer and could very quickly lead to Motorola having to either reach a settlement or risk a ban. With Google's acquisition of Motorola currently under review, Google could find itself inheriting a situation where it directly has to pay for Motorola's actions.

Even in relatively distant cases, like Apple's lawsuits against Samsung, the knowledge of possible patent violations could be used as a bargaining chip.

Neither Apple nor other parties involved have commented on the change in patent circumstances.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +8

    Irony here

    The irony is that if the patent is enforced, and Android devices have to come off the market, who's going to benefit? Well, it might give a boost to Microsoft and Nokia... in the vacuum of no Android phones on sale.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +26

    Reach a settlement?

    I don't know how Motorola or Google can extricate themselves by "reaching a settlement" without the participation of Apple who have made it abundantly clear that there will be no settling, there will be no licensing. Apple are not interested in revenue from their IP through its exploitation by others. They want the copycats stopped. Period. Great news BTW!

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +20

    Music to Jobs' ears and mine

    What is the point of copyright, of patents, if those who have been infringed can not put a stop to the theft. And it seems that from the beginning, that's really what Google was interested in. Ripping off Apple was their ONLY quick way to get involved. Jobs TOLD Schmidt, "I don't want your money!" Apple put years into this, Google what, 6 mos. to a year? MAYBE (but I doubt it), the copycats will learn something from this. I hope Apple ultimate wins.

  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    and to think

    Google should have known better. In a way Google committed much bigger atrocity than Samsung alone ever could have.

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