ITC rules out Google-owned patents in HTC dispute with Apple


HTC, the ITC, and Apple are getting pretty familiar with each other these days. Apple has tried (and temporarily succeeded) to ban the import of HTC devices into the US and has filed another dispute with aims to halt sales of handsets such as the One X. Meanwhile, HTC has turned to Google for support in their own battle against Apple, but a judge just struck down the notion.

Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender has passed a ruling that says HTC may not use patents borrowed from Google in their suit against Apple, as the One series maker did not properly acquire the necessary rights. The move limits the patents HTC can use in an attempt to gain their own ITC ban of Apple products to three of the original eight. The next step would be to appeal the decision, but it looks likely that HTC will have to recruit Google to be a little more hands on in the process if the dispute is to move forward under its original terms. With less ammunition, HTC’s case will be all the more difficult to make.

[via Engadget]

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  1. I wonder if patents can be owned jointly, by Google and Android OEMs…

    1. Sure. They’d just have to arrange the sale/swap. However, I don’t know if that would apply retroactively.

  2. I wonder how much Apple stock the judge, or his family and friends, own?

  3. Apple really needs to stop hating for real

  4. I have been an htc fan for a long time and I would put my Rezound up against any piece of crap Apple wants to put out. Again, why can’t Apple just try to actually make a decent product to try to compete. Why do they need to try to they think litigation is the only way to make up for their lack of ability to innovate?

  5. Time for Google to step up, especially now they own Motorola. I’d love to see an end to this stupidity by having the two direct parties finish it properly instead of the OEMs getting singled out repeatedly.

  6. If google owns the patent than how is Apple able to take HTC to court?

    1. It’s not quite that simple. Apple, Google, and HTC all own their own patents for VERY specific things like slide to unlock or running an app while on a phone call. Apple is trying to have HTC banned because of some of their patents, and HTC is trying to fire back and have Apple banned with their patents. The Google-owned patents only come into play when they are used to fire back at Apple, and not really as much in defense. This is all a generalization, but I hope it helps.

      1. apple only sue because, htc is first in market share in us, the samsung then apple

  7. Or if HTC runs stock Android, then Googles patents would always be involved :)

  8. @ChrisRuble… yeah! Fuck Apple!!! MegaFuck Apple!!! Android going to bite whole Apple for fuckin takeover OS!!!

  9. Google should give a free, non-exclusive license for all of its Android related patents to every manufacturer building on Android. That would substantially reduce Apple’s ability to sue anyone.

  10. Apple’s IP needs to be protected!

    1. And their IP is all things tech right!

    2. Apple’s IP is stolen from Nokia and others, and they called it’s their.

  11. I sat down the other day to sketch out some concepts for somethings I had thought about designing when there was a knock at my door. I has handed a letter from Apple’s legal department informing me that I was in violation of several of their patents.

    1. Using a pen or pencil to convey an idea to paper
    2. Using thoughts to conceive an Idea
    3. Using bio matter located in a hardened bio shell to align electrons into a pattern which could be translated through a bio interface to interact with a three dimensional environment.
    4. Sitting.
    5. Standing
    6. Answering the door because it had a slide lock which I used to open the aforementioned door.

  12. What utter BS. Court is just a game now. Either Apple has valid patents or not. If Google has patents for tech they let HTC use then that should be it whether they shook hands or wrote in a napkin.

  13. Surprised Apple hasn’t tried to patent steering wheels as round.

  14. Google form a damn alliance with all Android running companies, today. Don’t let these partners lose this stupid battle!!! Go into offensive and start attacking Apple, right now!!!!

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