Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

HTC Sues Apple Using Google Patents

Comments Filter:
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @07:13PM (#37334672)

    "...HTC secured some patents from Google (who purchased them originally from Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc.) on the 1st of September."

    If HTC secured them from Google, how then are these patents Google patents?

    A better heading could be:

    "HTC acquires patents from Google then employs them to sue Apple."

    How about that?

    • "...HTC secured some patents from Google (who purchased them originally from Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc.) on the 1st of September."

      If HTC secured them from Google, how then are these patents Google patents?

      A better heading could be:

      "HTC acquires patents from Google then employs them to sue Apple."

      How about that?

      That is far to many words for most people to understand. This is why so many have trouble reading the summaries, not to mention the actual article in question.

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

      • 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 rtb61 (674572)

          Either way in marketing terms Apple, the marketing engine is making itself look ugly, cheap and tacky. This kind of legal battle always cheapens a company image and for Apple that is a disaster and the longer it goes on the worse it is. The other companies aren't affected by it is much because of course they market themselves in a different fashion and not as a fashion concious, technology unconscious, digital accessory range.

          So Apple is now looking to face the counter threat to what it was doing. Apple

    • The article does not specify either (in one place it HTC obtained and in another place, "bought").
      It could be that HTC got an exclusive license on that patent from Google or the right to collect royalty on those patents while the patents are still held by Google. It is not uncommon,for ex:in case of Novell/SCO, Novell held the copyrights but SCO had rights to collect royalty (or so it was alleged).
  • Live by the sword... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @07:20PM (#37334718) Homepage

    About a year ago as the patent litigation really started picking up steam, I saw no reason for them to slow down until the situation reaches a critical time in which the courts or the legislative government calls for an end to all of it. It hasn't even gotten close to that critical moment yet, but I believe it will come. Meanwhile, we will have to see some serious consequences to the US economy before that happens... and it will happen.

    Meanwhile, Apple should have realized that this would be a likely consequence. It's not like they were suing Franklin or another Apple-clone/compatible maker. They have exceeded themselves in this case and are behaving frivolously and made themselves a big giant target. They will lose and lose badly.

    • 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 bonch (38532)

        Why do Slashdotters only think patent laws are absurd when they're filed against their heroes such as Google? Isn't that a bit fanatical? If Apple didn't have a case, it would have been thrown out.

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          Why do Slashdotters only think patent laws are absurd when they're filed against their heroes such as Google? Isn't that a bit fanatical? If Apple didn't have a case, it would have been thrown out.

          What makes you think that /.-er only think of the patent laws when lawsuits are filled against (whatever heroes)?

        • 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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Reading back through your posting history (I thought I recognised the name) I see almost every one of your posts is anti-Google, and you're slavishly supportive of Apple and Microsoft. Why is that?

    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      I'm not sure. The courts in the both US and Europe seem to be giving them every break. I'm very surprised how far they've got in blocking the sale of the Samsung tablet when prior art exists which the iPad looks nearly identical to.
    • by greenbird (859670)

      Meanwhile, we will have to see some serious consequences to the US economy before that happens... and it will happen.

      *looks through headlines of worldwide economic doom* Wow, more serious than what pray tell?

  • by fredmosby (545378) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @07:40PM (#37334860)
    The lawyers win, everyone else loses. Just like most patent disputes between large companies.
  • All the Android makers need to launch hundreds of patent lawsuits each against Apple. That's the recommended punishment for a company that actually makes something acting like a patent troll.
  • You shouldn't be able to sell a patent. Period.
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      You shouldn't be able to sell a patent. Period.

      Why in the world not? All that would do is force people to set up dummy corporations around each patent, so that you are selling the "corporation" and not the patent.

  • 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."

  • Cold war turns hot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Telvin_3d (855514) on Wednesday September 07, 2011 @08:22PM (#37335156)

    For a lot of years all the tech companies, but particularly the phone manufacturers, have existed in a state of what they believed was mutually assured destruction. After all, the products did have to be compatible on at least a basic level for there to be a market at all. So almost all patents were either cross-licensed or available under RAND terms.

    Apple has since entered the market and really kicked over the wasp's nest. They had no long term investment in past patents and gradual product development. So they came onto the scene with the iPhone 1, licensed all the basic standards and then refused to cross-license with anyone.

    Because apparently they believe that the situation is not mutually assured destruction. So the war has gone from a cold one to a hot one.

    It's arguable who started the actual legal battles. Nokia and Motorola were dicking around with patents that were supposed to be under RAND terms for standards reasons in order to try and force Apple to cross-license their patents. Apple has been on the warpath about their multi-touch and design IP.

    It will be interesting to see if Apple can get out of this without some form of mandatory cross-licensing being imposed. If they can it should be a very interesting shake-up. It would be the first time in the phone industry that a major company would be using their patents to secure limited monopoly of developments instead of simply being a legal bargaining chip.

    • by tangent3 (449222)

      It's like a third country getting nuclear capabilities to match the US and the USSR back during the cold war.

      "Hi guys! I have nukes and ICBMs now! Give me one billion gadzillion dollars! No? What is this MAD thing you guys keep talking about? Ah who cares, I'm going to fire an ICBM at you and see what happens after..."

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      Apple weren't refusing to cross license, they were simply disagreeing over the value of their patents - that's the reason for the Nokia lawsuit in the first place. They were attempting to cross licence, but neither side could agree on what Apple's patents were worth and it's necessary to know that since part of the RAND requirements for Nokia's GSM patents mean they have to be licensed at the same price to everyone involved. Apple's claim was that Nokia were asking for too much in exchange for the GSM paten

    • 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.

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet

Working...