HTC sues Apple using patents obtained last week from Google

“HTC Corp., Asia’s second-biggest maker of smartphones, filed infringement claims against Apple Inc. (AAPL) today, using patents obtained from Google Inc. last week,” Phil Milford and Susan Decker report for Bloomberg.

“The nine patents originated with Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc., with Google taking ownership within the past year, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records,” Milford and Decker report. “Mountain View, California-based Google recorded transfer of the patents to HTC on Sept. 1, according to the agency’s website.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller told MacDailyNews:

Google knows that HTC is under tremendous legal pressure from Apple and clearly on the losing track. HTC is the first Android device maker sued by Apple, so that dispute is at the most advanced stage, and since HTC’s own patent portfolio is weak, it has so far lacked the leverage to force Apple into a cross-license agreement. The possibility of HTC being defeated must have scared Google.

Another motivation for Google is probably to demonstrate some support to third-party Android device makers even though it’s clear those won’t be able to compete with a Google-owned Motorola Mobility on a playing field if the deal goes through.

This intervention on Google’s part increases the likelihood of direct litigation by Apple against Google. Apple may hold patents that could affect Google beyond Android.


[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]


    1. Bigger gun? No contest. Even after the Motorola purchase Google hasn’t got enough firepower to take on Apple. Android is a clear rip-off of iOS in too many ways. Microsoft had the decency to come up with their own interface and workflow on their phones. Why couldn’t Google?

    1. Exactly. The very fact that Google had to go out and buy patents (not to mention MOTO) and then transfer them to HTC is great. Now Google knows what consumers feel like when they use a “free” OS.

      1. Moves that Google did does not make what already has happened right ….. And it throws suspicion on Google …..

        Google knows they goofed up and are trying to buy their way out of the mess ….. And if all they had to give up is $8 billion in overpaying it would prove very cheap …… Cause …..

        Cause if they loose it will cost them a heck a lot more than $8 billion ….. Try $8b times 100, over next X years, and you will have the real numbers they are playing with …..

        Mobile is HUGE and Google wants to be there …..

  1. All I see ahead, despite this gust of wind in Apple’s face, is a SHREADING of Android. It’s going to be a long and ugly dying scene. Bring lots of popcorn and No-Doz.

    Wake me up during the good parts… 😉

  2. 222 million iOS devices activated, 135 m android.
    200 million more iOs devices projected to be sold in the next few years.

    Many android phones run Bidu, Yahoo, Bing and have their own services (you have to root the phones to get Google)

    Google is default on iOS devices. So google probably makes as much if not more off iOs as Android.

    Piss Apple off more and if Apple makes Bing default google is going to lose a big hunk of change….

    1. You can already change your default search engine on your iPhone & iPad to Bing by the simple expedient of going to settings under Safari. Whether Apple makes that a default or not you can make the change out of Google yourself without any trouble at all.

      1. not talking about that you can change it to bing,

        Google pays Apple now to be default because many people simply will use the default browser.

        If apple was to put Bing as default, many people will just leave bing on and Google will lose revenue.

        If Apple was to do what many android phones do like LOCK bing on without a Google option then Google will be screwed. But doubt Apple would do that.

  3. This is very strange for Google to outright transfer ownership of patents it just bought to HTC so that it can defend itself. First, the infringement came prior to HTC having any patents, and second, the transfer takes away the use of the patents from Google (AND Motorola!) if Apple decides to sue Google.

    Maybe that’s Apple’s strategy: Sue Android handset assemblers, have Google transfer all of its pertinent IP to Android assemblers, then sue Google which has no IP to protect itself.

    I’m pretty sure a court is going to see right through this little charade.

      1. IANAL (I am not a lawyer {god I love that acronym!}), but courts would in all likelihood take a dim view of it.

        On the other hand, there is nothing to stop them from licensing for a reasonable fee of, oh, say, $1. Unless there are FRAND issues concerning patents on “core” technologies.

    1. Bizlaw wrote, “This is very strange for Google to outright transfer ownership of patents it just bought to HTC”

      What is really strange is to see an AMERICAN company give away resources to a foreign firm in Taiwan so they can fight one of the remaining hugely successful AMERICAN companies.

      Doesn’t he whole issue seem Anti-American and something you would expect the Taliban to secretly do?

      Shouldn’t Homeland Security and Congress launch an investigation into the whole Google Android affair to see who really is behind it?

  4. Nothing makes me more happy that Apple is going for the throat now!
    Google does not deserve to have the os they think that they deserve. Their 3rd party handset makers hopefully will desert them in droves. I hope it doesn’t take so long to come about.

    btw how did Google transfer the patents to HTC?

  5. Apple can amend the complaint to all those android phones produced from August 21, 2011 and back. HTC didn’t have the patents then so they built many phones with stolen code.

  6. Google’s new strategy is to get surrogates to fight Apple like HTC and also including others like Teamster’s Hoffa who is trying to incite the Obama administration to attack Apple.

    Google has a lot of loose cash laying around to stir up the pot. Google dropped several million on lobbyists this last quarter. And Apple thought it was a fair fight where right would win?

    Ho Hah!

  7. HTC’s official statement in response to this story breaking includes the phrase:

    HTC will continue to protect its patented inventions against infringement from Apple until such infringement stops.

    Um… WHAT? What “patented inventions” did HTC come up with, exactly? Certainly not the ones they just bought from Google, as HTC didn’t invent those.

    It seems utterly bizarre to me that a company can buy patents as if that somehow meant they came up with those innovations. Apple, in contrast, is defending innovations it actually came up with itself. You’d think there’d be a distinction between patents a company actually came up with themselves, versus patents they merely bought from others.

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