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02 March 2010, 17:51

Apple sues HTC for patent infringements in Android phones

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Apple has taken legal action against HTC, claiming that the maker of Android phones is infringing patents owned by Apple. Apple's filings with the US Delaware District Court and the US International Trade Commission are, as reported by All Things Digital, citing the HTC Nexus One, HTC Hero, T-Mobile G1 and the Droid Eris phones as the HTC devices that infringe the majority of the patents.

The patents in question relate, for example, to software-based processes such as message passing using proxy objects, multitasking with objects and threads, event distribution and other operating system level operations. Many of the patents referred to were issued in the 1990s, though some have only been granted in recent months. A number of the patents are also involved in Apple's counter-suit against Nokia's patent infringement suit.

Also referred to in the case are a number of HTC's non-Android based smartphones, but specifically for an infringement of a separate patent related to digital signal processor interfaces. Google, the creator of the open source Android operating system, is not mentioned, even in passing, in either of the suits. This seems to be despite the fact that many of the claims of infringement appear to address features of the Android operating system.

The patents involved in the Delaware action:

  • 7,363,331: Time-based, non-constant translation of user interface objects between states
  • 7,479,949: Touch Screen device, method and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics
  • 7,657,849: Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image
  • 7,469,381: List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling and Rotation on a Touch Screen display
  • 5,920,726: System and method for managing power conditions within a digital camera device
  • 7,633,076: Automated response to and sensing of user activity in portable devices
  • 5,848,105: GMSK signal processors for improved communications capacity and quality
  • 7,383,453: Conserving power by reducing voltage to an instruction-processing portion of a processor
  • 5,455,599: Object-oriented graphic system
  • 6,424,354: Object-oriented event notification system with listener registration of both interest and methods

and the patents involved in the ITC action:

  • 5,481,721: Method for providing automatic and dynamic translation of object oriented programming language-based message passing into operation system message passing using proxy objects
  • 5,519,867: Object-oriented multitasking system
  • 5,566,337: Method and apparatus for distributing events in an operating system
  • 5,929,852: Encapsulated network entity reference of a network component system
  • 5,946,647: System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data
  • 5,969,705: Message protocol for controlling a user interface from an inactive application program
  • 6,275,983: Object-oriented operating system
  • 6,343,263: Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data
  • 5,915,131: Method and apparatus for handling I/O requests utilizing separate programming interfaces to access separate I/O services
  • RE39486: Extensible, replaceable network component system


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