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19 July 2011, 16:24

Google to support HTC in patent fight with Apple

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Android vs Apple At Google's Mobile Revolution conference in Tokyo, former CEO and current executive chairman Eric Schmidt has strongly criticised Apple's recent patent lawsuit against mobile phone manufacturer HTC, and stated that Google would help ensure that HTC eventually prevails in the case, the final ruling for which is expected to come from the full panel of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in December. Schimdt was reported as saying of Android's competitors that, "The big news in the past year has been the explosion of Google Android handsets and this means our competitors are responding ... Because they are not responding with innovation, they're responding with lawsuits ... We have not done anything wrong and these lawsuits are just inspired by our success."

The ITC's preliminary ruling supported Apple's claim that HTC has infringed two of Apple's patents in its Android phones. Recent reports suggest that many Android device manufacturers are already paying licence fees to Microsoft, perhaps in the range of $10-$15 per device; if the current claim by Apple eventually results in similar licence fee payments to Apple, the resulting financial burden would cause serious problems for Android phone manufactures, and of course, Google. Schmidt did not give any details on just what form Google's support for HTC would take.

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