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HTC applies two ex-HP patents to ongoing Apple legal fight

updated 11:24 pm EDT, Tue July 17, 2012

Patents purchased in December; Google lawfirm filed on HTC's behalf

HTC has brought infringement counterclaims against Apple in the Southern District of Florida using two patents it acquired from HP late last year. The patents added to the already-complicated complaint are "installation of network services in an embedded network server" being asserted against Apple's entire product line, and "method and system for central management of a computer network" primarily aimed at Apple Remote Desktop and the associated Screen Sharing feature native to OS X.

Patent analyst Florian Mueller calls HTC's approach the "usual deny-everything-and-throw-in-the-kitchen-sink defenses" with the two patents added as a counter-strike to HTC's legal strategy. HTC's counterclaims were not brought by its normal firm, but by a new Miami firm and San Francisco organization Keker & van Nest, who led Google's defense against Oracle's patent infringement claims.

The volatile lawsuits suits between the two industry leaders has seen patents being borrowed by HTC from Google to be used against Apple, an approach that was ultimately shot down. Apple has accused HTC of lying to circumvent the ITC ban on multiple infringing devices, and has also sued the South Korean firm for FRAND and antitrust violations.

HTC was one of Apple's earliest targets in a legal campaign that can be widely considered as a proxy war driven by the belief Android was largely "stolen" from iOS IP patents. Regardless of whether Apple's view is a legitimate claim or not, its opponents have thus far had difficulty offering original patents as a defence, or success accusing Apple of infringing on their own patents. Most have resorted to claiming that Apple is using standards-based patents, an argument that may be deemed abusive and is already under investigation in the US and Europe.

by MacNN Staff



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