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Google Patents The Courts Apple

HTC Sues Apple Using Google Patents 342

Posted by samzenpus
from the litigate-or-die dept.
AlienIntelligence writes "Apparently to stay viable in the IP wars, HTC secured some patents from Google (who purchased them originally from Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc.) on the 1st of September. The patents were used to fire a new salvo of shots across Apple's bow today, September 7th. HTC filed infringement claims against Apple in federal court in Delaware, suing based on four of those patents that originally were issued to Motorola. Additional complaints were filed with the U.S. ITC based on the other patents."
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HTC Sues Apple Using Google Patents

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  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pem (1013437) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @07:08PM (#37334640)
    Do you really think they would be doing this if Apple weren't?
  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @07:17PM (#37334692) Homepage Journal

    Because of their history of operations, and the philosophy of the founders; where as Apple turned into the sue machine about a decade ago.

  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:4, Insightful)

    by teh31337one (1590023) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @07:17PM (#37334700)
    Do you expect them to lie down while Apple try to systematically crush android OEMs?
  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrBigInThePants (624986) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @07:23PM (#37334744)

    I assume you are one of those apple consumers that has the religious parts of their brain activated when thinking about Apple.

    Google is not trying to destroy apple, just trying to stop them destroying the smart phone/tablet market...which is their aim.

    So in other words if you try to break my arm I am damned well going to break yours first if I can, or at least subdue you!!

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @07:52PM (#37334952)

    Sure, that would be more accurate, but make no mistake, these patents are Google's in every sense but the legal one.

    There is no other sense other than the legal one.

    Even if Google doesn't own them on paper any longer, Google is still using them to stage a proxy battle against Apple.

    Not really. Apple is already in a war against the Android, which is owned by the Open Handset Alliance, of which both Google and HTC are members. Google isn't "staging" it, and its not a battle between Google and Apple, its a battle between Apple -- which wants to dominate the mobile OS market and extract monopoly rents from it -- and everyone in the Android ecosystem, who have a shared interest in commoditizing mobile OS's so as to preserve their ability to derive revenue from lines of business which would be marginalized if anyone monopolized the mobile OS market.

    Lots of people want to make this a simple Apple vs. Google story, but Apple's relation to iOS and the various i-devices isn't parallel to Google's relationship to Android (for which Google is the primary developer, but not the owner) and is even less parallel to Google's relationship to Android devices. HTC is more of a direct competitor with Apple in the mobile market than Google is.

  • by Weedhopper (168515) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @08:00PM (#37335008)
    A part of me is hoping that this is a massive corporate conspiracy to drive the absurdity of current patent/IP law to the point where it becomes patently obvious to everyone that the system is fucking broken.
  • by md65536 (670240) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @08:15PM (#37335118)

    In the future, the hardware will be free. The software will be free. You won't be able to use any of it though, because the patent portfolios will not be free, and they will not be cheap. We'll have to purchase separate patent license agreements from each of whatever handful of companies survives this apocalypse.

    A: "Cool, what's that?"
    B: "It's the iPhone 9."
    A: "But... it's got color icons!"
    B: "Oh, yeah... I downloaded the Samsung 'folio from the patent store."
    A: "Doesn't that cost six trillion US yuan???"
    B: "Nah I have a jailbroken patent manager!"
    A: "Coooool. Color icons."

  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Riceballsan (816702) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @08:29PM (#37335198)
    Calling these patent infringements on either side "stealing" is flat out silly. Though if you want to call it that, then apple stole from google and HTC, google+HTC (order kinda varies here, too much research to figure out what ridiculous patent was filed and infringed upon first) stole from apple, apple started shooting first then google gave HTC a gun to start firing back. Right now in the mobile phone industry, EVERY possible conceivable invention, and several inconceivable ones are covered by multiple patents owned by multiple different companies. The only way to defend in the industry is to respond back, oh I'm infringing on 4 of your patents, oh yeah well your infringing on 4 of mine also, we both break even with just a few billion down the drain in lawyer fees, any company must either do that, or just say oh my bad I'll stop selling phones. Just flat out dropping out isn't an option, they are in it way to deep, so all that can be done is to assist the companies making their phones by preventing them from getting steamrolled.
  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andydread (758754) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @09:55PM (#37335722)
    This stupid false-equivalence is ridiculous. It is at best cynical to state that Apple's and Microsoft's thinks their offensive use of patents is a defensive use. Lemme ask you this. If someone came into your house and shot someone then claim they were just defending themself would you be so quick swallow their arguments? Just in case you weren't aware patents can be used offensively or defensively Can you cite one instance Just one where Google has used patents offensively? By the way offensive use of patents is the initiating of a patent action against some one. Defensive use of patents is suing someone after they have initiated and action against you first. Just in case you were unaware. There is a difference between stockpiling patents for defensive use and actually initiating patent actions against others. The difference is stark.
  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @09:55PM (#37335726) Journal

    Apple is trying to refight the UI design battle it lost over two decades ago. It didn't win that time and it won't win this time. In fact, now it has basically kicked up a hornet's nest by picking fights with people who can use actual legitimate technology patents to smack them, and Apple will regret ever having tried refight the UI war. It was moronic and shortsighted. They would have been better off just to simply work on market penetration, like the other mobile companies have been doing for fifteen years.

  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Grave (8234) <{moc.liamtoh} {ta} {88treblawa}> on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @09:57PM (#37335734)

    Welcome to the current patent and legal system?

    Google had no interest in mountains of patents and this type of litigation until the competition started using it to attack them. That left them no choice but to retaliate or get pushed out of the market. Saying it's childish isn't really fair to Google--they're just playing by the rules that have been in place now for the last couple of decades. Let your government representatives know how you feel, but don't expect companies to stay above this kind of behavior when, legally, the only alternative is to give up on a product.

  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri (601766) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (bob_eissua)> on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @10:18PM (#37335888) Journal

    They're suing over patents using a proxy company today.

    Google are helping an Android hardware vendor defend themselves from Apple's litigation.

    Your blind hatred of Google is making you crazy.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:26PM (#37336270)

    Because apparently they believe that the situation is not mutually assured destruction.

    No, I think very little of Apple and its management but even I trust that Apple knows this.

    I think Apple has seen the writing on the wall, Android is growing in popularity, Iphone has been stagnant over the last year, despite selling more units their market share has not increased. Historically, Apple has never been able to cope with competition, even when it was only one big competitor (Microsoft). So the patent war is mutally assured destruction because Apple wants to take others down with it. Rather then conceding defeat and saying "we had a good run" they want to ruin everything for everyone. This isn't simply Apple taking it's ball and going home, they want Samsung's bat too.

    At best, this is a ruse to keep stock holders from figuring out that Apple has peaked.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @11:37PM (#37336326)

    "Any product" being very specific products from Samsung.

    There are a ton of Android handsets and makers, and Apple is not blanket suing all of them. They did go after the one who ripped off the iPhone design to such an extent that almost every review site commented on it. In that sense, they have a case - Samsung practically photocopied the iPhone. All the frothing by slashdot about "zomg rounded corners! they patented the rounded rectangle!" misses the point; it's not a single design element in isolation (there are plenty of products before and after the iPhone that feature rounded corners of a particular radius), but a whole slew of design elements that when combined together, form the iPhone. Arranging your icons in a grid: not unique. Arranging a very specifically coloured set of icons and graphics in a grid using rounded edges on a black background: iOS. Samsung's choice of icons was pretty blatant, especially when combined with the design of their phone.

    Had Samsung had the same physical shape of the phone and gone with a different UI: no problem, or gone with a different phone shape with a similar UI to the one they used: still no problem. They didn't do that though - they made a phone that everyone looking at went "hey, looks nice, but exactly like the iPhone"

    There are many, many more Android handsets that have not raised the ire of Apple's litigation department because *they don't look exactly like an iPhone*.

    I'm as fed up as the next person with frivolous lawsuits and patents, like "once click shopping" or "arranging music in a list", "specific multi touch gestures", but in the case of Samsung copying the iPhone... it's pretty cut and dried.

  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:3, Insightful)

    by d7415 (1068500) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @01:18AM (#37336744)

    This all started because Google decided they needed to crush iOS by giving away Android for free.

    I'm sorry, I guess I missed the part where Apple was trying to sell iOS to other manufacturers.

    People still need to _buy_ hardware before there is any competition here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 08, 2011 @01:45AM (#37336846)

    >If X didn't have a case, it would have been thrown out.

    Hahaha. <chortle> ... gasping for air...

    Are you for real?

    The SCO vs Novell case went on for a fucking DECADE and they had NOTHING. NANA. Not at any time did SCO have ANYTHING. Yet it went on and on and on, year after year after year after year....

    You've been watching too much Matlock.

  • by IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @03:17AM (#37337298)

    Is it just the shape (and there were other devices that had a big glass front and buttons on the bottom of the screen). Was it the placement of the icons? (a grid? really?

    You seem to have replied to a post that you did not read, because you're asking questions that the post addresses.
    Apple's problem with Samsung appears to be with the sum total of the Samsung products from hardware and software design changes made after the release of Apple products, packaging, marketing and advertising material copying the layout of Apple's advertising material.
    Now whether you agree that Apple has a case or that legal proceedings should be used to address these complaints is another matter. But Samsung's nods to Apple's design success were widely commented on in the press before Apple kicked off legal proceedings. So no, it's not just Apple and its "fanboys" who have perceived the similarity. Claiming that you can't see it seems disingenuous to me.

  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:4, Insightful)

    by silentcoder (1241496) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @03:41AM (#37337410) Homepage

    >"Your honor, my client never shot anyone before he bought that gun."

    More like: "Your honor my client hates guns, has publicly spoken out against them and never owned one. When he was repeatedly shot at over the last few months, he finally bought one and started shooting back".

    I am not sure I'm in favor of google getting the Motorolla patents - or any patents - but you should at least get your facts straight. Frankly in your OWN analogy - google is clearly a self-defense case.

  • Re:Proxy wars (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Thursday September 08, 2011 @11:46AM (#37341612)

    "sequence of events is "Apple builds a phone that revolutionizes the smart phone market, everybody including HTC tries to rip off Apple, Apple uses patents to defend against the ripping off, and Google gives HTC patents to countersue with the goal that they can continue to rip off Apple". That is offensive in every meaning of the word."

    Nope. That's a defensive use from Google and offensive use from Apple. The fact that you _think_ that Apple "deserves" to be a monopolist has nothing to do with it.

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