The patent wars saga continues, and it’s getting crazier and crazier…
HTC sued Apple again this week in a Delaware district court for infringing on several patents that cover Apple’s entire product line. The filing doesn’t just cover the iPhone, it mentions everything from Apple’s Mac computers, iPhones and iPads to Apple TV, AirPort and Time Capsule, and the iPod. HTC wants damages as well as attorney fees and costs, and has asked the court to ban Apple from making, selling, or importing any infringing devices in the United States.
The complaint covers three patents, two of which were granted last year and one that was granted in 2008. Specifically, they cover: circuit and operating method for integrated interface of PDA and wireless communicating system; multipoint-to-point communication using orthogonal frequency division multiplexing; and method for orderwire modulation.
You probably know that Samsung and Motorola are Apple’s latest targets in this law-suit-happy game, but HTC was actually their first target. In March of 2010, Apple filed a suit against HTC alleging that the Taiwanese company is infringing 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone. In early July of this year, HTC acquired S3 Graphics pretty much as a defensive measure - Just before the acquisition announcement, the the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that Apple was infirnging on two patents owned by S3. In mid-July, the ITC made an initial ruling that HTC had violated two of Apple’s patents, which HTC is now fighting. Later that month, HTC fired back by filing a suit against Apple in the U.K. – the exact details of which are unknown at this time. HTC’s latest suit against Apple is their first against them in the U.S. The ITC has the power to ban the importation of devices to the U.S., although that penalty has never been enforced because settlements are made before that happens.
The patent battles in the mobile-tech-space aren’t showing any signs of stopping. In fact, Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility and their 17,000+ patent library shows that this is only just now heating up. It will be very interesting to see what becomes of all of this once it is all said and done.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that any of this will actually end with any of the players not able to sell certain products?
Category: Mobile News
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Co-owner and PR guy for GizmoNinja.com. I’m happily married and a father to a wonderful (most of the time) son. I work in the E9-1-1 software/data industry by day and am a tech loving geek in my spare time. I’m interested in all things tech, but am big into Android especially. I dabble in a little of everything – Android development, PC development, web development, etc – but am a master of none (not even close)… But I have fun doing it anyway! =P