“An ITC judge has granted an Apple motion to throw out five of the patents Google gave to HTC last summer,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.
“Apple had argued that HTC lacks standing (the right to sue). Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender apparently concluded that HTC failed to acquire all substantial rights in the relevant patents,” Mueller reports. “The ALJ made the decision on Friday, and it entered the public record today”
Mueller reports, “The decision to throw out Google’s five patents is appealable, and the identified deficiency is theoretically curable, but it’s now fairly probable that Apple won’t have to defend itself against those patents in the ongoing ITC action… The decision is an embarrassment for Google, which waited almost a year and a half after Apple’s first patent lawsuits against HTC before it provided this kind of support to HTC, and then apparently failed to do this the right way. Too little, too late. If Google had assigned all substantial rights to HTC by truly transferring those patents to the Taiwanese company (as opposed to imposing limitations and restrictions), Apple’s motion wouldn’t have succeeded. But Google’s support for the Android ecosystem has clear limits.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: After today’s events, Google’s going to need a lot more rue.
Google pledges to keep backing Android device makers in lawsuits – November 9, 2011
The patents Google gave to HTC to assert against Apple – September 8, 2011
Google gets its hands dirty by arming HTC with patents to be used against innovator Apple – September 8, 2011