Google’s Rent-a-Patent scheme fails: ITC bars HTC from using Google’s patents

“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.

Related articles:
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


  1. HTC used to manufacture smartphones (mostly, if not all Windows Mobile phones) for other companies. Then, they decided to backstab and compete against their partners. The closest thing they’ve ever come to developing an OS is making skins. They and Google are a match made in heaven and deserve what they have coming to them.

  2. Best way to beat google is what apple is doing – create better solutions to googles freemium ware.

    As long as apple continually improves maps and Siri – which will reduce googles advertising revenue then google is under threat.

    Google may have won traditional browser search, but apple will wipe the floor with voice and map search.

    I want to see Microsoft licencing Siri off apple for all windows platforms. I want to see apple maps on windows too so this again reduces googles influence.

    I also want apple to create a browser based search engine that competes directly with googles main search.

    And being apple, non of the search info will be used to sell to companies – that would kill google

    RIP GOOGLE 11/06/12

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