If you thought that TV offers good drama with their reality based shows, you may want to take a quick look at the courtrooms that house Apple and HTC’ s legal teams.For the last year and change, we have seen lots of arguing and a lot of back and forth between portable electronics manufacturers about who has done what. As you already know from some of my past articles (and really from news all over the web), Apple has been showering HTC, Samsung, and several others with patent infringment lawsuits (many of them sketchy at best). But no military can fight that many big adversaries at the same time, and if you remember the hydra analogy I made a while back, it looks as if one of the heads that was about to be chopped off just got a helping hand from the body of the beast… Google. Towards the end of last month, Google decided to give HTC rights to 9 patents that they had obtained from various sources including Palm, Openwave, and Motorola. Interestingly enough, these patents involve actions and functionality for mobile devices that Apple product owners very much enjoy. So, having these on hand allowed the Taiwanese tiger to finally show their claws and countersued Apple on a few of these.
According to the source, the infringed patents involve:
* the ability to do wireless software upgrades;
* a way to transfer data between a microprocessor and a support chip;
* a method to store user preferences;
* a way to consistently contact between application software and a radio modem.
If these patents sound generic enough to you, that is probably because they are. So, what we are looking at right now is the proverbial fire being fought with fire. Someone is bound to get seriously burned, and from the looks of it, Apple is getting warmer.
A final thought on this as I was reading up on the source article, there is one statement that hadn’t hit us before and that was Mr. Jobs’ statement when this whole thing blew up, one that has been repeated by Apple on numerous occasions including in their latest assault targeting HTC’s pads: “we think competition is healthy but competitors should create their own original technology and not steal ours.” Unless I am missing out on something rather obvious, the iPad is far from being an original creation. In terms of portability, slate computers have been around for a very long while now, so the tab is not a new concept at all. So, what original technology is Apple referring to in this particular case?
For now, I am going to get some popcorn ready to continue enjoying all this drama as it unfolds. From a completely biased view, I wish the hydra monster the best of luck in this endeavour. And Apple, much like I said the other day when AT&T got their share of lawsuits, you deserve what you have coming for you.
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