37 Android-related patent lawsuits since 2010

“With yesterday’s patent infringement suits filed by Microsoft against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec with a US district court and the ITC, the total number of Android-related patent lawsuits has reached 37. Yes, thirty-seven,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents. “More than three dozen. Hard to believe but true.”

“Now I have — with a little help from a friend who’s good at graphics design — created a chart that shows how lawsuits involving Android have exploded since last year (see full article),” Mueller reports. “This infographic leaves no doubt that Android faces more problems than any other software platform — mobile or otherwise — in the history of this industry. And the trend is undoubtedly that there will be even more of this before all is said and done and, hopefully, settled.”

Mueller writes, “Google’s own patent portfolio is, as I explained in January, far too weak for what’s undertaken in connection with Android. While a company’s own patent portfolio can’t deter non-practicing entities (sometimes also called “trolls”) from suing, it is at least very helpful in order to reach cross-license agreements with other major IT companies. Google is unable to do that. This is a serious strategic weakness, and it’s in no small part responsible for the Android patent mess.”

Read more in the full article, which includes the infographic, here.

Related articles:
Android Java code likely to damage Google’s defense against Oracle’s patent infringement lawsuit – January 22, 2011
New evidence shows Google may have directly copied Oracle IP in Android – January 21, 2011
FOSS Patents: Google’s patent portfolio too weak to protect Android – January 20, 2011
Apple expands Motorola lawsuit to include 12 more patents, most of which target Android – December 3, 2010
U.S. ITC to investigate Motorola’s claims of patent infringement by Apple – November 04, 2010
ITC votes to investigate Microsoft patent infringement claims against Motorola over Android phones – November 03, 2010
Apple files multiple patent infringement lawsuits against Motorola – October 30, 2010
Oracle: Google directly copied Java code in Android – October 28, 2010
Why Microsoft is suing Motorola over Android and why it’s good news for Apple – October 06, 2010
Google petitions court to throw out Oracle’s patent-infringement lawsuit against Android – October 05, 2010
Oracle’s patent infringement lawsuit will change Google forever – August 16, 2010
Oracle sues Google over Android, claims patent and copyright infringement – August 12, 2010
Apple expands patent infringement lawsuit against HTC – June 23, 2010
Microsoft: Google’s Android infringes on our patented IP; signs new patent deal with HTC – April 28, 2010
Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit: The elephant in HTC’s new headquarters – April 02, 2010
ITC votes to investigate Apple’s patent complaint against HTC; consider barring HTC imports to U.S. – March 31, 2010
Microsoft general counsel: Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit against HTC ‘a positive development’ – March 15, 2010
Apple patent infringement lawsuit applies pressure to HTC – March 03, 2010
Apple puts the entire industry on notice by suing HTC for patent infringement – March 03, 2010
What Apple vs. HTC could mean for the future of mobile devices – March 03, 2010
Apple looks for expedited proceedings in patent infringement case against HTC – March 03, 2010
Patent lawyer: Apple’s going after HTC first, Motorola’s next, but Google’s the real target – March 03, 2010
The specific Apple patents over which Apple is suing HTC – March 02, 2010
Boom! Apple sues HTC for infringing on 20 iPhone patents – March 02, 2010

18 Comments

    1. Google has the financial backing to fight the lawsuits for a long time. If you sue the smaller subsidiaries you will spend less and have a better chance of winning, yet those victories can be used to set legal precedence that could one day be used against Google itself. It’s just a legal strategy.

      1. The device manufacturers are sued because they are the ones making money off of selling hardware with the Android OS. Google doesn’t directly make money from Android sales, so it’s very difficult to show that Google made any profits from Android. Google only makes Android to keep its search and advertising revenue going.

    2. “And yet, no one sues Google.”

      Oracle already has (Aug. 12, 2010) and it should be a big one. Google has picked the wrong person to p.o. in Larry Ellison. You don’t go messin’ with the ‘junkyard dog.’

  1. Ten years from now, when the Android OS has been completely rebuilt, today’s Android OS will be declared illegal and Google will have to give all the profits generated by selling the Android OS to the patent holders.

    What a waste of time and money.

    1. ??? Google doesn’t “sell” Android, they give it away. But that’s precisely what makes Android’s problem such a big deal for the device-makers. Google has little to lose, so the device-makers are left holding the bag.

      ——RM

      1. Google could still eventually be sued for damages. If companies like Oracle can show they lost an opportunity to make money because of Google, then Google will be forced to make recompense.

        It’s very unlikely that Android would be totally rewritten any time soon, Google doesn’t have the talent. In that case Oracle can get an injection preventing Google from giving away Android anymore.

        1. Very difficult to show damages because you would have to prove that Google made money at the expense or loss by Oracle, Apple, etc. The problem is Google makes its money from web searches combined with advertising, and Android only keeps people using Google search and other advertising. If you can’t show Google made money from the sale of the device, damages won’t follow. After all, those people could have used Google search or Google ads on any OS.

          That’s why the device makers keep promoting Flash so much and why Google wants Android to run Flash: Google has most of the ads on Flash media.

          1. I don’t think you’d have to show that Google made any money. Just that Google prevented Oracle from making money with Oracle’s own product. For instance, if I gave copies of “Winblows OS ” to computer makers for free and large parts of the OS code was taken straight from Microsoft’s Windows (as large chunks of Android are copy pasted from Java), Microsoft could sue my ass off even though I’m giving the OS away for free. I’d be giving away some one else’s software that doesn’t belongs to me and keeping the owner from making money on it. That loss of income that the rightful software owner would incur from lost potential sales, is a type of damages.

  2. Not that I love Google (Love Apple as a matter of Fact), but this whole software patent thing needs to simply go away. Software should not be patentable. Copyright? Sure. Trademark/trade dress infringments? Sure. But software patents? They do nothing but stifle innovation and create more work for lawyers and money for lawyers. Some of you may disagree, but should things like “Single Click – Buy it Now” Amazon really be patentable…

    With all the B.S. software patents floating around, there is practically no way of not running afoul some patent…and this doesn’t bode well for the smaller independent companies who lack a massive patent portfolio.

    1. Not sure I agree. Trademarks are just words; branding tools. Copyright is closer, but is more for cognitive art forms. Software is about function. It is a complex string of commands, routines and subroutines to allow a computer to become a tool for a specific set of tasks. To my mind this is no different than patenting a Cotton Gin or other piece of machinery. Developing a useful piece of software isn’t like the brain storming session that came up with “Post Toasties”. It’s a time consuming and costly process that often takes huge teams of very talented people years to complete. I think it deserves protection from usurpers. This is not to say that some pretty basic “ideas” have been granted patents. But the task is for the Patent Office to hone their guidelines to help better discern common practice from unique invention.

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