HTC are using nine patents that they received last week from Google to sue Apple. Google took ownership of the patents last year, which were sourced from Motorola, Palm and Openwave Systems.
Bloomberg asked to speak to Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Google, but he refused to discuss the transfer of nine patents to HTC. The transfer helps HTC to fight Apple, as they are defending themselves against claims that some of their phones are ‘copying the iPhone’.
The move by Google to help defend HTC is a big deal within the industry, which has been hotting up over the last year. Legal suits are active from almost all the major companies, as they strive to claim market percentage. Apple are already locked in battle against Samsung, having successfully helped stop their sales in certain parts of the globe.
In an interesting twist, yesterday HTC are suing Apple – they have filed a complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleging infringement of the patents which they have obtained from Google.
Bloomberg add “Google, which hasn’t been sued directly by Apple, has been criticized for sitting on the sidelines while its Android partners faced lawsuits. Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC, which gained attention in the U.S. by making the first phone to run Android, has defended itself partly by bringing two infringement cases against Apple at the trade commission in Washington, one submitted last year and another last month.”
Google stepping in to defend HTC is a sign that they are willing to help their partners battle Apple. Google spoke out and said that they are building a strong patent portfolio as a defense against intellectual property lawsuits. They already hold 1,000 patents.
Kitguru says: The smartphone and tablet sector is rife with legal action in 2011.