Apple to ITC: Android started at Apple while Andy Rubin worked for us

“I just provided a detailed update on the current state of affairs in the ITC investigation of Apple’s first complaint against HTC, and I saved a true gem for this separate blog post,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

“It’s a story that’s remarkable per se — allegedly, Android started at Apple — and it could also have major legal implications for a future Apple lawsuit against Google or possibly even for Apple’s dispute with Motorola Mobility after its proposed acquisition by Google,” Mueller reports. “Here’s a quote from Apple’s recent reply brief to the ITC staff’s and HTC’s petitions for review of the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) initial determination that found HTC to infringe two patents, including the ‘263 ‘realtime API’ patent:”

Android and Mr. Rubin’s relevant background does not start, as HTC would like the Commission to believe, with his work at General Magic or Danger in the mid-1990s. In reality, as the evidence revealed at the hearing, Mr. Rubin began his career at Apple in the early 1990s and worked as a low-level engineer specifically reporting to the inventors of the ‘263 [realtime API] patent at the exact time their invention was being conceived and developed. […] It is thus no wonder that the infringing Android platform used the claimed subsystem approach of the ‘263 patent that allows for flexibility of design and enables the platform to be “highly customizable and expandable” as HTC touts. […] While Mr. Rubin’s inspiration for the Android framework may not be directly relevant to the pending petitions for review, that HTC felt compelled to distort this history is illustrative of the liberties it takes in attacking the ALJ’s [initial determination] and the substantial evidence supporting the ALJ’s findings.

Mueller reports “Look at the first two sentences again: ‘Android […] does not start […] at General Magic or Danger.’ According to this filing, it all started at Apple!”

Much, much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Holy Moly, the plot thickens!



  1. Oh by the way, judge, here’s another piece of evidence that Google were barking up the wrong tree when they were first developing Android. We enclose for the benefit of the court minutes of the board meeting during the tenure of Eric ‘Moleman’ Schmidt in which specifics of touchscreen technology was discussed.

    1. Sorry grhakl, Florian Mueller is a well respected IP attorney and has done a great job educating the rest of us on what is going on with all of the suits.

  2. Looks like Andy Rubins’ name will be changing to Mud.

    He looks like one of those scumbags that we all know exists in the Tech world. Anybody who has worked in tech will have met one of these…..they usually jump from company to company taking IP from the previous company to pass on to the next company and making it sound as if they came up with it. Hope he gets whats coming to him real soon!

  3. Sounds harsh and may bite Google later. Not to mention the billions to get that cast iron arse plate for Apples attack dawgs. Lose billions, lose Android, and Apple walks into the search business with a one more thing line. Ouch…..

    1. Apple is only arguing against one patent, not Android as a whole.

      Steve mentioned that the iPhone 1 had 200 patents. Presumably this specific patent was one of those 200.

  4. As I had been thinking…
    what came first the Chicken or the Eggs.

    According to Wiki – Google made the purchase of Android; a apparently a company back in 2005 – yet Apple has a complete product on the market by 2007 – a Phone, advertising and iPhone OS.

    What came first – IOS or ANDROID?
    In deed the Plot thickens – Mr. Rubin’s – Google – Android…

    Seems we got a dead ANDROID on the way!

    1. E inteteS Hard to say both companies worked in secrecy on mobile oses.

      Android was founded in 2003. Who knows how long before that both parties were thinking of mobile operating systems.

      Im a fan of android but looking at old prototype pics of early early devices id say the the current UI of android came from the iPhone. At some point they abruptly switched gears (prob the night Eric called Andy telling him about a phone he saw at apple)

      As for this latest news all i can gather is that Andy didn’t bother to mention that he worked at apple in the early 90s. Would love to know if he did that on purpose or if he feels he didn’t work in a related area at apple and was providing only his history as it lines up with when he became interested in mobile oses explicitly.

      *grabs popcorn*

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