One of Asia’s largest smartphone manufacturers HTC Corp. is using nine of Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) patents to file a law suit against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). This has been done in response to earlier lawsuits filed by Apple against it. The patents in question were bought recently by Google.
According to patent information obtained from the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office four of these patents originally belonged to Motorola Inc., (NYSE:MMI) two to Palm Inc., and three to Openwave Systems Inc., (NASDAQ:OPWV) prior to their purchase by Google. A spokesman for Google declined to comment as to why these patents were offered by Google to HTC corp.
Currently, HTC has received additional support in fighting several patent infringement allegations brought by Apple Inc. Apple is Google’s arch rival in the smartphone operating system space. Apple has consistently claimed that the smartphones using Google’s Android operating system copy Apple’s iPhone.
Google’s willingness to assist HTC marks the latest development in the smartphone industry which has seen a number of disputes regarding smartphone technologies affecting various Android clients like Barnes & Noble Inc (NYSE:BKS) and Samsung Electronics Co.
Apple up to this point has not directly filed a lawsuit against Google. Many of Google’s Android associates have criticized Google for remaining un-involved in lawsuits filed against users of the Android system. So this may come as a relief to those Android associates who have been aggressively targeted in lawsuits by major players like Apple.
HTC which is based out of Taiwan has developed a mobile phone for the U.S. market using Google’s Android operating system. HTC has filed two encroachment lawsuits against Apple in the U.S International Trade Commission in Washington within the last year.
HTC recently acquired S3 graphics a week after S3 won a patent litigation suit against Apple. The willingness of Google to lend a helping hand to HTC has opened up the possibility of a direct lawsuit from Apple against it, thus putting the two tech behemoths on a collision course.
Google’s aggressive acquisition of patents such as the $12.5 Billion it paid in acquiring Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) through which it acquired 17000 patents, suggests that this battle between the tech giants could be long and drawn out.