Google Defends HTC In Clash With Apple

iphone-vs-androidPerhaps Apple sued HTC, but Google and the Android OS are certainly within Apple’s cross hairs when it comes to the most recent legal spat. Did you expect Google to stay silent? Of course not. While HTC has yet to publish any public statement, Google contacted TechCrunch to stake their ground:

“We are not a party to this lawsuit. However, we stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it,”

It is unclear how much of the lawsuit is directed towards HTC’s proprietary builds of Android devices and software and how much of it will fall under the larger umbrella of the Android OS, but I guarantee you that Google is NOT taking this lightly. HTC won’t be fighting this battle on their own, and while I cannot guarantee Google lawyers are working overtime to help HTC fight their foes, I would certainly bet on it.

On the one hand you could claim Apple is simply defending their proprietary property. On the other hand you could say they’re scared and pulling out whatever tactics they can to keep a quickly diminishing competitive advantage. But perhaps there is another consequence of all this – will other manufacturers, both big and small, be apprehensive about building Android handsets with the fear that they too could be sued and face millions of dollars of costs and damages?

Apple’s main points of contention must be based on customizations to hardware and software done by HTC otherwise they would have named Google in the lawsuit as well – right? The difference here is that HTC has a ton of Android handsets on the market and Google isn’t selling a physical product but instead offering a software (mostly) for free. Oops… the Nexus One was released a couple months ago.

I’m sure Apple has been carefully plotting this lawsuit for some time now and since the launch of the Nexus One especially, I’m sure Google will specifically be a point of discussion. Apple most likely went after HTC because they are the biggest Android manufacturer with the most handsets – if they win this dispute on any basis that includes the larger Android OS – they could easily win judgements elsewhere by setting precedent.

Looks like the days of Apple and Google playing nice are officially over.

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  • http://phandroid.com Talton "Phases" Pettigrew

    Could you imagine.. Google vs. Apple? What I wouldn’t give to watch that firsthand!

  • elijahblake

    i want to see Microsoft lay down the hammer on Apple, ontop of Google/HTC/Motorola/Nokia/Palm/Samsung..

    I hope Apple just barked up the wrong tree..

    I mean what does apple think, they’re supposed to be the only one with a touchscreen smartphone. They’ve been ripping off everyone else’s patents for years. Now that they see Android is about to be the number 1 choice, they try this kiddie shit..

    This is 1 of the MANY reasons I HATE Apple.

  • elijahblake

    I would put my money on a green robot over an apple any day.

  • covert

    Go GOOGLE! i absolutely hate how apple thinks is it okay to sneak peak other companies ideas and steal them almost directly, and then when another company comes up with their OWN idea that is somehow close to apples stolen idea, they find it okay to sue the other company buy getting a patent for an idea that wasn’t even theirs to begin with… WTF apple, i seriously hope all the companies that have been hiding back from apple jump down it’s throat at once… come on microsoft, google, htc, and everyone else! JUMP DOWN THEiR fUCKING THROAT AND RIP THEIR DAMN VOcAL CHORDS OUT!

  • Bas

    How and why this fight between Google – Apple started:
    http://mashable.com/2010/01/20/apple-microsoft-v-google/

  • Jouten

    NOKIA should be laying the smackdown on EVERYONE! I love my euro/asia HTC Hero though. So please don’t lay the smackdown on them. kthxbuhbye.

  • http://phandroid.com Talton "Phases" Pettigrew

    Bas: good read..

  • ASida

    Maybe they are afraid that Google’s big G that looks like pacman will eventuality eat there big apple ..lol

    Sent from my HTC hero ;)

  • Scott

    This issue may be in direct relation to why 2.1 is not out for Android phones except for the HTC N1…

  • Mr.G1

    So your telling me Apple owns all touchscreen phones? Wtf how are we suppose to advance if Apple has everything patient WTF

  • david

    Why do people say Microsoft should go against apple? from what i heard microsoft and apple might be working together to get Bing on the iphone, instead of google search. Doesnt sound like it will be Everybody v. apple to me. Either way think google is too big, I had an iPhone twice and questioned why i bought it both times. waiting for android on ATT, should i get the backflip or wait? what do you guys say?

  • Sonny

    HTC MADE A TOUCH SCREEN PHONE? SUE THEIR ASSESS!! Oh Apple, how ridiculous you are.

  • Tom Robson

    Apple, running scared now.

    2010 is the year Android crushes them and no amount of legal flim-flam is going to stop it happening.

  • Andy

    I want to see all of the members of the OHA come down on Apple. Collectively, Apple is probably violating numerous cell phone patents (notice how Apple is suing everyone about touch screens/OS, not the technology to actually build a phone – most likely becuase Motorola, Samsung, Nokia, etc own all of those patents).

  • knowdither

    Think about it…what else could Apple do..?
    What would you do…?
    Here’s a freight train coming up behind you and you need to slow it down in order to come up with some ideas how to move forward and add some more space between you and Android.
    Apple will have a formidable task in front of them…No One..that includes, Google, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Microsoft, Palm, Blackberry, all the US major carriers…will want Apple to win…it’s bad for all their businesses and I would assume they will lend as much support as they can in whatever way is appropriate for their business. (The last thing mircosoft wants is to have to delay Windows Mobile 7 to wait for the outcome of HTC v Apple)
    Image the emergency meetings at Apple when they find Nexus going to Verizon this month, Desire and 4 other Androids going to ATT…the consensus had to be…”we need to buy time…let’s throw $10 million in legal fees at someone small…that should slow ‘em down for little while”

  • Jeff

    Google should buy Foxconn (the manufacturers of the iPhone) and cancel the contract with Apple! That would be awesome!

  • http://www.rentindianmovies.com Justin M.

    I think this a big misstep by apple. Sure they might stall HTC and Android for a little while, but at the end of the day all they will have done is opened pandoras box.

    It’s not like Google, HTC, and the rest of the Open Handset Alliance don’t have their own mobile patents. If Apple wants to play hard ball, they can kiss all mobile advertising aspirations good bye because Google has the patent geo-location mobile advertising. That’s just one of many mobile patents.

    They also might have inadvertently strengthened Nokia’s lawsuit against Apple. Nokia’s patents, which they’re suing apple for violating, are far less vague than Apple’s patents that they are suing HTC for.

    I think it’s becoming clear why Apple is Apple and not Google or Microsoft. In the entire scope of things, they’re little fish in a big pond. I think their luck is finally going to come to and end.

    Thoughts?

  • http://missymartinmedia.com/corbettcomicstrip MCorbett

    apple is being childish, I think that google/htc will triumph for the most part. maybe lose a few things. change a few things. its hard to say what will happen.

  • fupadroid

    they are all a bunch of crazy people. until they settle things, they are only hurting themselves. i am not buying any of your crappy products apple! if microsoft or google can give me what i want, then they can have my money. but until then, you guys are lost.

  • MicroNix

    May it be everyone against Apple and put Jobs out of a job. Send them back to 1997 before Microsoft foolishly bailed their dying a**es out. How quickly they forget it was not the Mac or iPhone that saved them from extinction back then.

    Looks like Android has taken a big bite out of the other side of the Apple logo (anyone want to photoshop that?) and has Jobs scrambling the jets before it gets to the Apple core.

  • Rafael

    Why waste time in courts fighting for evolving technology. Is like the first auto manufacturer suing over their transportation invention. So no one can make a transportation device with wheels and an engine. You can come up with planes, ships and trains but oh no. not an automobile!

    Instead they should start selling iphones to every carrier so therefore people will get used to their software style and become iphone loyal. Last time I checked (verizonwireless.com has over 91 millions subscribers), (Sprint/Nextel has over 48 million), (t-mobile (U.S.) has over 34 million) and that is just 3 carriers in the U.S. alone. Cut the AT&T deal which by the way the carrier is not so good in some areas and sell, sell, sell iphones to everyone and be happy! if their iphone is so good it should come on top no matter what, right!

  • MonkeyCheese

    I think this has more to do with HTC’s Sense UI and not just Android in general. If it was really Android then Apple would have just sued Google instead of HTC.
    But this lawsuit does seem kinda silly on Apple’s part.

  • 2FR35H

    GOOGLE! GOOGLE! GOOGLE!

  • Ricardo

    Google + HTC > stupid Iphone

    Is OS X a Linux based system? why they never open the code?
    Did they really invent multi touch? WTF, They did not even invent their system, but copy from others.

    They should stop using keyboard. cause it is for PC not for mac.

    Ipad is a joke.. give me a break.. whole world on your hand?

    Bill gate come out with the tablet PC.

    I hope I can push apple to invent the new input methods”
    such as ” MUlTI-BRIAN input” or multi-eyes input. lol.
    well.. Apple you heard it, get it register. so you can sue whoever come out that idea.
    WTF.

  • Mikael Bäckström

    You can’t ignore the fact that Apple DOES indeed have US patents on these things. Rather than questioning Apple, we should question the US patent office. How on earth can you get a patent on “Performing a gesture to unlock a handheld device.”??

  • Chris

    Remember that the whole reason that Apple is on ATT is because ATT bent over for them. They gave apple complete control and $10 a month per phone! That is serious money. You think that Jobs isn’t going to do every thing he can to protect that?

  • Chris
  • Tim

    Jeff, LOL and I second that notion! Hope the CEO of Google will consider this in mind?

  • ulvhamne

    @Mikael Bäckström

    Quite frankly because in the US its not the patent offices job to validate a patent. Its the court system. They keep granting nutty patents and defend it with that if its not a correct patent, it will be torn up in court.
    Problem is that its so bloody expensive to drag it through court, that never ever happens. Everyone just settles out of court since its cheaper for them.
    And remember, several of these patents are world wide. ;)

  • http://www.derrickisonline.com Derrick

    I think it’s a major scare tactic like someone else said to slow competitors down. I think it all goes back to multi-touch (not sure if that’s part of the suit). HTC was the first Android phone to implement the feature. Maybe not multitouch but pinch/pull to zoom. I think everyone waited to see how it would turn out. Now people got comfortable with multitouch, add the fact that the Droid 2.1 is getting multitouch (pinch to zoom) so I think now Apple figures is a good time to “shut that sh1t down” before everyone gets comfortable with it. And the already narrowing competition gap and iPhone hype slowly wears/winds down. :)

    What I love about my Droid is that it’s not an iPhone. I’ve owned two iPhones and now it’s as if EVERYONE has an iPhone. There’s no cool/unique factor anymore since I swear every other person I see has one. And they all look the same, black or white. ZZzzzZzzzz. The gap is quickly closing as people see there are alternatives.

  • polarbear42

    When will Apple anounce the IDie, an IPhone with a small nuclear charge set to detonate if it detects an Android nearby :-)

  • hippyfish

    Well, for my money – pandora is already out of the box and Apple is just “pissing in the wind” on this one.

    Android is an open source OS with an already active and vibrant community of developers who have proven the ability to deliver reliable and, in many cases, superior mods to the OS. Even if Apple won, we’d only see a more active dev community and probably even more mods that quickly win back any ground lost because of the patent suit.

    So, all the handset manufacturers could start shipping “stock Android” builds on kick ass hardware which users could quickly root and install mods that do whatever the hell the user wants. Apple will find it impossible to stop this because you can’t hit what you can’t see – the beauty of community driven development. Heck, Apple can’t even stop jailbroken iPhones.

  • SiliconAddict

    Apple = SCO….its really that simple.

  • jimfin69

    Pretty sure the reason they went after HTC rather than Google is because Google is one of the few companies who have the resources to take on Apple and win. HTC is a much smaller company, won’t be able to put up the same defence as Google would.

  • JarpDarp

    Reminds me of SCO’s failed attempt to scare large corporate IT departments with letters to CIOs threatening lawsuits to protect their “IP” they claim was stolen by Linux.

  • SSinisterSS

    i wanna see the facepalm the judge gives apple when they are in court LOL!!

  • http://None Mk

    Last week I was so happy to get rid of my 3gs Iphone and replace it with NOKIA E52 (only till Christmas).
    Gosh, I feel so free
    I am waiting for Windows Mobile as it has everything I need.

  • http://None JunkPad

    I am disappointed of what I am seeing and reading, I feel sorry for myself and for all the power users out there, we are yet to see a company that makes us the right mobile phone for us
    I don’t believe it took Microsoft 40 years to come up with this device.
    As much as I hate apple products; I still holding on to Apple IPhone till another manufacturer put an end to this misery.

    Winmo7 is a good start, but it must be fully customizable, slim, responsive, light weight, power saver, snappy and dependable.
    I need a device with borderless LCD, a device that have full language support both on the handset side and on the PC side, I need a stable internet browser, music organizer with efficient media player and controls (must support all kind of audio & Video), FM radio, 5Mpx Camera, a device that let me download anything from the web then drag them to PC and vice versa with no fuss, a device with world maps preloaded, a device that can display Day, Date and Time without having to terminate calls or quit music just to see what is the time like the infamous HTC Diamond, a device that let me open, edit and save all kind of files like word documents, excel, PDF, audio and video.
    Thank you.

  • roflmonster

    Hmm… I wonder what would happen if Google patented the concept of multitasking on a mobile device….

    “Multitouch” can mean many things. If you want to get technical, the Opera browser introduced two-button mouse commands years ago, which required two physical buttons to be touched simultaneously.

    While we’re at it, why not take it to the interaction of the hand and the screen to manipulate programs? That was patented under the creation of the Light Pen.

    Before Apple goes after HTC about multitouch, they need to address their own lawsuit defense of patent 7,274,353 by Elan Microelectronics, who claims multitouch was patented by them in 2007.

    Suing a company before you define that you have the legal rights to the technology? Congratulations, Apple – you have finally become the monster that you have always accused Microsoft of being.

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