As I’m sure you have noticed by now, there are two ways to make money off of technology: develop innovative products that consumers buy up in mass quantities or become a patent troll. The latest example is perhaps the most unabashed of them all, as HW Technology is suing Google, Apple, RIM, Amazon, HTC, LG, Nokia, and pretty much any other smartphone-related company you could name over a 2009 patent that reads thusly:
“A software platform in an Internet Protocol (IP) phone having the ability to be used with different communication infrastructures such as broadband, wireless communication and Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) service. Further, the software platform in the IP phone has the ability to be used with different applications operating on the IP phone. Further, the IP phone has the ability to perform additional functionality than traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) phones, such as searches and advertising, given its ability to converge voice and data within a single terminal.”
In other words, if your device and the software it uses includes any sort of applications marketplace, you are guilty of patent infringement. Just another sad example of how the patent system is being manipulated to turn a quick dollar off of companies working hard to improve the smartphone ecosystem. Hopefully a judge will see the reality of the claims and want nothing to do with the lawsuit, but with the way these legal things go it could be quite some time before we know.